Blog Posts

The History of Noritake

Noritake Australia’s 60th Birthday is coming up, and we’re becoming nostalgic – we’ve come such a long way from our humble beginnings!

To celebrate this special occasion, let’s take a walk down memory lane together…

Noritake’s history

In 1876, the Morimura Brothers opened up a trading company in New York. They specialised in imported chinaware, antiques and gifts. For several years, the brothers experienced great success in their business.

The Morimura Brothers store in New York (Photo courtesy of The Japan Times)

However, they became increasingly enamoured with European ceramics and decided to manufacture and sell more affordable alternatives to the American market. To that end, the Morimura Brothers founded the Nippon Toki Gomei Kaisha, which owned and manufactured ceramics. It is now known as Noritake.

The earlier collections designed and manufactured by the company were elaborate and ornate. Cultural and artistic movements, such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco, inspired these early designs, with the themes, colours and styles of the pieces drawing on these European trends. The company even adapted traditional Japanese motifs and techniques to suit their Western markets.

However, until World War I, Noritake products were expensive – their meticulous design and finish made them inaccessible to the general public. However, with the rise of new technologies, ceramics became more accessible. The intricate and handpainted designs were no longer fashionable; simple designs were in.

Thus, by the end of World War I, Noritake had to change to suit the new demands of the market; instead of producing expensive, decorative pieces, Noritake focused on creating products that anyone could purchase and enjoy. They began to produce functional and long-wearing dinnersets, yet continued to produce ‘luxury’ items at a lower cost.

The company continued to grow for several decades. However, it was not until 1958 that Noritake Australia Pty Ltd opened.

Various Noritake back stamps throughout history (Photo courtesy of China Finders)

Noritake’s future

Like our international counterparts, we draw on a long and proud history. Within the first decade, we became a household name; in fact, our products were among the most popular wedding gifts for newly married couples. We’ve only gone from strength to strength from there.

We are committed to delivering high-quality, beautiful products to our customers. We are a recognised leader in tableware manufacturing around the world.

2018 has been an exciting year for us – we’ve released some gorgeous ranges and we’re not about to stop! However, reaching this milestone would not be possible without the support of you! Thank you for supporting us, and we hope that you will continue to do so. Help us continue our tradition of innovation, creativity and quality.