Imari is the name for Japanese porcelain wares made in the town of Arita, located just outside Nagasaki Prefecture. They were exported to Europe extensively from the port of Imari between the second half of the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century. In Japanese, these products are also known as Arita-yaki. Imari or Arita porcelain has been produced continuously until the present date and are still sought after products from around the world.
The main type of Imari used today is called Kinrande. Kinrande Imari is colored porcelain with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze red and gold. The color combination was not seen in China at that time. Traditional Ming dynasty color porcelain used dominantly red and green, probably due to scarcity of gold in China, whereas gold was abundant in Japan in those days. The subject matter of Imari is diverse ranging from of foliage and flowers, people scenery and abstractions.
Nagasaki Porcelain Museum is conveniently located in Huis Ten Bosch and allows the public to see Imari Porcelain up close and personal. You will be intrigued by the colors and even more intrigued with the attention to detail. It's a rather small Museum but allow at least 30 to 40 minutes as each piece will reel you in and demand your total attention.
Check out the Nagasaki Porcelain Museum for yourself on a map!
Click on the photos below to enlarge:
Classic style plate