Noritake is the largest porcelain producer in Japan and is known for colorful Japanese design. Noritake has like many other porcelain producers issued series of plates. Among these a number of dishes with Japanese scenaries. Just as interesting Noritake has also issued a series of Christmas plates with motifs relating to Christianity in Japan.
Noritake came to be in 1904 as the factory was established in Noritake that is a suburb to Nagoya in central Japan. Noritake was born from the trading company Morimura Gumi established in 1876 by the brothers Ichizaemon and Toyo Morimura. In 1878 they had established a business in New York and the company exported Japanese antiquities and handicrafts including ceramics. Ceramics soon came to be more than a third of the business. In the 1890's they had transitioned from retail to wholesale.
This led to the decision to establish a porcelain factory in Nagoya in 1904, where they wanted to produce porcelain after western pattern to be able to export. It took some years to reach the desired quality to be ready to export. Thus it took 10 years until 1914 before the first porcelain was exported. However by then they were able to compete on equal footing with the Europaen competition.
Noritake was first established under the name Nippon Toki and the factory stamp underneath said Nippon. The company was long known under the name Noritake from its hometown. The name did not become official until 1981, however. The company still exists with its base in the Nagoya area in Japan.
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