THE RICH HISORY OF KORANSHA
How Koransha Began
The eighth generation, Eizaemon Fukagawa
Koransha’s story begins over 400 years ago in Arita, Japan. Here, a new type of pottery stone was discovered in 1616, by a potter from the Korean Peninsula. He discovered rock deposits that contained the raw materials need to create porcelain. This led to the creation of the first pottery kiln in Arita, here they used those raw materials to create the first-ever Japanese porcelain products.
Later that century in 1689, the legendary Matasiro Fukagawa, the first-generation Eizaemon Fukagawa, started making pottery in Arita. He began one of the original porcelain potteries in Japan, this is the backbone of the Koransha company.
In the late 17th century, Koransha’s prestigious products were made primarily for the imperial households of Japan. Our company also had a strong focus on overseas export during this time. There was a large demand for these exquisite porcelain products from royalty in Europe and the United Kingdom. Exporting Arita Ware wasn’t an easy task, however, as Japan had isolated itself from the rest of the world in terms of trade. The Dutch were Japan’s only trading partners for most of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Koransha Through The Years
This all changed in the 1870s though. The onset of the Meiji period in Japan caused a boom in trade. This period came at a time when worldwide fascination with Japanese art was at an all-time high. The craze was called the ‘Japonisme Era’, where wealthy individuals across western Europe considered owning Japanese artwork to be a sign of prestige. Arita ware made by Koransha during that time was extremely popular among European art dealers and collectors. These pieces still remain popular with antique collectors today.
One reason for the Japonisme Era was the huge success of Arita Ware products at the second Paris Exhibition in 1867. Arita Ware gained enormous popularity and excited the world at this exhibition, which lead to a huge demand for products in the 1870s.
Koransha had been focused on making products for export since its inception, so we were poised to take advantage of this change. By 1879, the Fukagawa family had been making porcelain pottery in Arita for nearly 200 years. After two centuries of handing down the traditional techniques for making Arita ware through the generations, they incorporated as a company in 1879. This gave rise to Koransha. The eight-generation Eizaemon Fukagawa formed the structure of the company that it still runs on today.
One of the main reasons that Koransha continues to succeed after four centuries is in our core values. Our mission is to maintain tradition and technique, while constantly striving to innovate. At Koransha, we are not afraid to change with the times and we do so without losing traditional techniques mastered over generations. Kornasha continually pushes the boundaries in its manufacturing process in order to deliver the best possible product to its customers.
A great show of our drive to innovate came at the approach of the 20th century. There was enormous demand in Japan for industries to meet the needs of a technologically blooming nation. Koransha answered the call and began to manufacture porcelain electric insulators alongside our Arita Ware products. Our company had mastered the art of porcelain manufacturing and once again excelled in our field. We produced efficient, reliable, and powerful insulators to match the country’s demand.
Awards Koransha Has Won
The prestige of products made by Koransha has not gone unnoticed throughout the years. Kornasha has been a purveyor of porcelain products to the imperial house since its inception, a great honor that continues to this day. Alongside this, our company has a long list of awards to our name. A true credit to our excellence in the field of Arita Ware manufacturing. The awards:
In 1876, at the Philadelphia World Exposition, the first official World's Fair held in the United States of America. Kornasha was awarded the Certificate of Merit.
In 1878, Koransha won the Gold Award at the Paris Exposition.
In 1888, we won the Gold Award again, this time at the Barcelona Exposition.
In 1909, Koransha was awarded the Grand Prize at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Ocean Exposition.
In 1910, Koransha was awarded the Grand Prize at the Japanese-English Exposition. This was the largest international exposition that the Empire of Japan ever participated in.
In 1915, Koransha was awarded the Grand Prize at the Panama Pacific Ocean Exposition, a World Fair held in San Francisco.
In 1930, we were awarded the Grand Prize at the Liege International Exposition of Large Industry, Science and Applications.
1876 : The Certificate of Merit
at the Philadelphia World Exposition
1878 : The Gold Award
at the Paris Exposition
1888 : The Gold Award
at the Barcelona Exposition
1910 : The Grand Prize
at the Japanese - English Exposition
The Koransha of Today
Today, Koransha continues to drive the Arita Ware and porcelain manufacturing industry forward. Our business is run on a combination of traditional craftsmanship and advanced technology.
Traditionally the labor of porcelain products had been divided among different businesses in Arita. But, at Kornansha we have brought everything in-house. The design, shaping, underglaze, glaze, and overglaze firing of all Arita Ware products are done at Kornansha. This helps to guarantee an exceptional standard of quality on every product we create.
To reach new markets, Koransha has collaborated with renowned designers from around the world. This was a challenge for Koransha early on, but our company has shown that by stepping out of our comfort zone and testing new things in the porcelain production industry great things can be achieved.
The core values that the first generation Matashiro Fukagawa instilled in Kornansha nearly 400 years ago, still ring true at our company. Koransha strives to uphold deep traditions while constantly innovating, this is a major reason for their long record of success. Koransha creates each product as a manifestation of the best, classic Arita Ware while incorporating a modern touch through design and manufacturing.
At Koransha, we are determined to preserve the tradition of Japanese Arita Ware. The techniques and traditional craftsmanship inherited from the company’s forefathers will continue to be passed on through the generations. We believe to continue for another 400 years at least.
If you would like to become a part of the rich history of Konasha, head to our online store and find yourself a magnificent piece of Arita ware. Koransha stocks a wide range of unique products. From vases to tea sets to dinnerware, you can revolutionize the look of your kitchen or home with these prestigious products.