Updated: Dec 8, 2021
What was to become the Nortiake company, started out as the Morimura Gumi (Morimura Group) run by two brothers, Ichizaemon Morimura VI and Toyo Morimura in Tokyo, Japan. The year was 1876. By March of the same year Toyo would have sailed to New York City and by November established a retail establishment, with a partner, on 6th Street. They called their shop Hinode Shokai, loosely translated meaning; First English Sunrise or First Sunrise.
Hinode = Sunrise or English Sunrise
Shokai = First Time
In 1878, Toyo Morimura would start his own business naming it Hinode Shokai Morimura Brothers. This business would import Japanese antiques and miscellaneous goods to the United States. Later the business' name would be altered to only Morimura Brothers and the emphasis shifted from retail to wholesale.
After the death of his brother Toyo Morimura in 1899, Ichizaemon established Nippon Toki Gomei Kaisha (trading name), also known as the Noritake Company of Japan. (In 1981 Noritake Co., Limited changed its trading name to Nortiake Co., Ltd. Japan). This companies original factory would be built in 1904, in the small village called Noritake, Nagoya, Japan.
In 1914 the company (called Nippon Toki at this time), found itself successfully producing it's first porcelain dinner set, named "Sedan", for export. Earliest dinnerware pieces were, more often than not, hand painted, leaving liberal amounts of gold paint on each piece.
Founder Ichizaemon Morimura VI passed away Sept, 11th, 1919. A year later, assembly line techniques began to be introduced, allowing the company to offer more of a streamlined approach to mass production. High quality, affordable, dinnerware would be perfected over the coming decades, allowing Noritake to become a leader in table wear manufacturing and marketing.
In current day, Noritake remains one of the largest manufacturers of China and Porcelain in the world. With over 400 different back stamps and an unknown amount of patterns, identifying your piece could be a challenge! Thankfully, there are numerous websites dedicated to the history of Noritake, their back stamps and patterns.
If interested in learning (much) more about Noritake than you did here, please check out the sites below!
https://www.invaluable.com/ Great Back Stamp Guide!
If interested in learning more about me, click here!