Japanese Pottery Marks

The ceramic culture of Japan is the most continuous and the longest in the world. The oldest of Japanese ceramics date back to somewhere around 10,000 BC. In comparison to the Chinese ceramic industry of that time, there are many things that made the old Japanese ceramic industry of that time rather small-scale. Much like Chinese ceramics, especially pottery, even Japanese pottery contained Japanese pottery marks that were applied to them for a variety of reasons. For instance, artists who designed and decorated Japanese pottery often added their personal signatures on them.

What is the Significance of Japanese Pottery Marks?

While Japanese pottery has become known for the beautiful artwork featured on. However, pottery pieces from Japan decorated with pottery marks tend to convey the history of their creation. Apart from helping in identifying craftsman who created the pottery piece, markings on the pottery even specify the year in which they were created. From far away, the presence of markings tend to cause Chinese pottery appear the same as Japanese pottery. However, markings added to Japanese pottery also identify that the piece originates from Japan.japanese pottery

There are six main regions or "kilns" of Japanese pottery schools, namely Bizen, Echizen, Seto, Shigaraki, Tamba and Tokoname. "Rokkouyo" is the common term used to refer to these six major pottery schools in Japan, and the appearance as well as the style of pottery these schools created varies to quite an extent. Thus, the potteries created by these schools are marked with distinct and individual markings.

Usually, someone viewing Japanese porcelain pottery will read the pottery marks on them from right to left or from top to bottom. If the markings present on a pottery represent a signature, usually there is a suffix following them. Japanese pottery marks are known as "kamajirushi" and can be identified in many ways.

To view the mark of the maker on a Japanese pottery piece, the piece will have to be turned over. The lip or the side of a Japanese pottery piece also often contains the maker's mark. Most Japanese craftsmen always add Japanese pottery marks in the form of an incision or marking on the pottery they create. However, there are also those craftsmen who consider their created pottery itself as their signature and do not mark the pieces. "Non-kamajirushi" is term used to refer to unmarked pieces of Japanese pottery.

The ability to read and accurately identify the marks on Japanese pottery pieces can help people gain a lot of insight regarding the pottery. For those who do not speak Japanese or have no knowledge of how to identify these marks often need to seek the assistance of reference books that contain information and pictures. Deciphering the meaning is often necessary for those who have an interest in collecting Japanese pottery since the markings help collectors identify the authenticity of the pottery and ensure that they are collecting the right pottery.

With so many types of Japanese pottery created by quite a lot of craftsmen, each decorated to look more unique than the other. Therefore, there are probably a myriad of Japanese pottery marks that have been added over the years on pottery created in Japan.

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