English seals & marking

The english marking of Kutani ceramics can be separated into several periods :

1) 1891 - 1921

The McKinley Tariff Act was established in 1891. From that date items exported to US had to be marked with the english name of the country of origin. The name used at that time was "Nippon".

Therefore pieces marked Nippon should be considered as made before 1921.

2) 1921 up to WWII

The above rules lasted until 1921 when the name was changed to "Japan". Therefore pieces marked Japan should be considered as produced after 1921.

3) Occupied Japan 1945-1952

During the period of occupation by US and in order to restart the economy, the export of products was authorized on the conditions that all exported products be marked with one of the following labels :

  • Made in occupied Japan
  • Made in Japan
  • Japan
  • Occupied Japan

Therefore theoretically 50 % of the pieces manufactured during this period should have been marked as "occupied Japan" but in fact far less have been marked such a way and these pieces are now getting rare and becoming collectors items.

As they are getting scarce beware of fake marks which have been added recently.