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The Nippon Toki Kaisha Ltd was established in 1904, after one of the founders, Ichizaemon Morimura, decided to branch out into producing high-quality porcelain for export to the United States and Europe. Ichizaemon and his brother, Toyo, had originally founded Morimura Gumi in 1876 with the idea of exporting Japanese wares and antiquities to the United States. It was renamed Morimura Brothers in 1881.

‘Nippon’ is the word for Japan written in Western characters. When their products were first exported, they came in under the generic ‘Nippon’ name, resulting from the McKinley Tariff of 1890. This legislation required all imported items to be marked with their country of origin so they could be taxed accordingly.

For the first part of the 20th century, the two major regions they exported to were the United States and the United Kingdom. They produced different wares for each market, appealing to the styles that were in fashion at the time. Much of the porcelain exported to the United Kingdom echoed designs and glazes produced by British companies.

The advent of the Second World War saw exports dry up and the factory resorted to producing utility wares until it was destroyed towards the war’s end. Although the company survived, many of the old skills had been lost and they admitted that the quality had diminished. During the post-war period, they introduced a ‘Rose China’ mark which they used as the quality of the china wasn’t as good as before.

By 1950, the word ‘Noritake’ had been registered as a trade name, and in 1981 the parent company changed its name to Noritake Co., Limited.

Noritake Co., Limited is still in business today, providing high-quality tableware to restaurants, hotels, and airlines around the world, as well as domestic wares.

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