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The first half of the Edo period Arita and Imari ceramic wares

Strength is characteristic of early Imari ceramic ware.
Early overglaze enamels with beautiful multicolor designs

It is said that porcelain was first made in Arita in Japan at the beginning of the modern era, when Sanpei Ri found stone material for porcelain in Arita Izumiyama. Arita porcelain ware was called "Imari ware" because the products were shipped from the port of Imari. "Imari-yaki" is widely known even in Southeast Asian and European countries, let alone at home.
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The Imari ceramics made from the 1610s, when Arita ware began, to about 1650 when technical innovation changed the pottery environment are called "early Imari," and are characterized by thick vessels, thick glaze, and rough painting.
Overglaze painting decoration began in Arita in the 1640s, which has been proved by remaining overglaze enamel works and fragments and records showing that the founder Kakiemon brought 'akaemono' (overglaze polychrome enamel ware) with him to Nagasaki in 1647. It is considered that the traditional monochrome decoration with cobalt-blue (sometsuke), originally developed in China, and made an epoch-making change to the polychrome enamel depiction. So, those works created from the very beginning of the 1640s to the 1660s when paints and depiction began to change are separately referred to as "early overglaze enamels."


image Kakiemon's delicate and refined style fascinated the European royals and aristocracy.
The Kakiemon style was in fashion between the 1670s and the 1690s. The style is characterized by colorful designs with red, green, and yellow enamels after being outlined in red and black. The design is very picturesque making the most of the delicately unpainted milky white background (nigoshide). These typical porcelain wares were fired in a Kakiemon kiln, while a great number of similar products were created in other kilns. So they are known generally as "Kakiemon."
The Kakiemon style was popular only at a certain part of the Edo period that falls on the 4th and 5th Sakaida although it is often considered to be continuous even today.
A large amount of the Kakiemon-style porcelain was exported to Europe and imitated in the Meissen kiln in Germany and the Chantilly kiln in France. Porcelain wares of this delicate and graceful style must have charmed European royal and aristocratic families.


COLUMN Kakiemon Style (Enpo era)
Iroefujinzou (Overglaze Enamel Statue of Woman)


This statue is a masterpiece of the Kakiemon style made in 1680`1700. The large head and the small hands in relation to its overall balance provide an image of a woman of a small and delicate frame. The unbalanced proportions create a feeling of a feminine sweet disposition. This statue whose body parts were separately formed with different molds is so elaborately finished that no seams are found except on the sides. The bottom is flat and unglazed, leaving some texture. An air hole is seen at the left back shoulder and the mouth is opened deep into the inside.


IroefujinzouiKakiemon Stylej
In the 1680s to the 1700s
Owned by the Kyushu Ceramic Museum in Saga
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