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Japanese Antiques - War-Like Beginnings of Antique Japanese China

Gust Lenglet

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Over 400 years ago, a Japanese Overlord named Toyotomi Hideyoshi mounted an attack on Korea in order to invade China. This war would, in later years, come to be known as the ‘ceramic war’ and without it, antique Japanese china may very well not exist in the way that it does today.

From this war came the many, many Korean potters who were taken prisoner and brought to Japan. As time passed, their trade flourished in Japan as they took their art to great heights. Many of the ceramic Japanese antiques that exist today were made in the kilns set up by these Korean potters.

Antique Japanese China is Discovered by a Korean

One Korean potter in particular would change the face of antique Japanese plates, bowls, cups, and so on, completely. His name was Yi Sam-pyeong, and it was he who discovered porcelain clay in Arita. Perhaps even without the ‘ceramic wars’ it would have been discovered eventually, but the circumstances could not have been any better.

Following the discovery, Arita quickly blossomed into a porcelain hub for Japan as various kilns sprouted up to take advantage of the newfound industry. Chances are, any porcelain antique Japanese plates dating back to that period were made in Arita itself.

Another War, Another Advancement for Japanese Porcelain

When successive rebellions and wars in China broke out in the 1640's, Chinese potters fled to Japan in search of livelihood. Welcoming them with open arms, Arita kilns benefited directly from this influx, as the Chinese potters brought with them knowledge that was more valuable than any gold.

Up to this point in time, antique Japanese china was not as refined as the Chinese variety, but now, with the advancements brought over by the migrating Chinese potters, this disparity disappeared. By applying the enamel glaze method, antique Japanese plates grew more and more sought after.

Prospering enormously, porcelain changed the Japanese antiques market completely. At one point in time, it was a flourishing export for Japan, and has gone from strength to strength.

Without the wars that brought about this trade, it is entirely possible that antique Japanese china would not be the delicately beautiful craft that it is today. Equally, the artistic prowess that it is so renown for would possibly never have seen the light of day, which would definitely affect the appeal to owning it.

As things stand, owning Japanese antiques is something that is more than just a hobby.Collecting these priceless pieces of art that are so steeped in tradition, culture, and surreal beauty is something that so many people have found value in.All you need to do is see the beauty of the antique Japanese plates that and other antique Japanese china pieces that are listed in the link, and be amazed by the delicate exquisiteness.


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