Framed by peonies and plum blossoms, two pheasants grace the center of this dish. The plate is vibrantly colored with rich shades of blue, pink, green, orange, yellow, gold, black, grey, and white. The scene depicted on the plate is heavily influenced by nature, specifically some of the flora and fauna local to the area. This plate is from the area of Arita, a small town which has long been considered a ceramicist’s mecca and has exported porcelain to the West since the mid-1700s. The porcelain produced in Arita captured the attention of Westerners due to its use of glazes that were not found in China or Korea at the time. Following the end of World War II, Japan was held under military occupation by the Allied Powers from 1945 until 1952. Any product made during this time was marked with a “Made in Occupied Japan” stamp and the Arita Ware plate featured here is no exception.
-Charla Hamilton, Class of 2015