Noritake Dinnerware & Fine China
The history of Noritake china is closely tied to the history of commerce between the United States and Japan. In 1852 President Fillmore dispatched Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry to Japan to propose a trade agreement with the shogunate government. On July 8, 1853, Perry sailed into Edo (Tokyo) Bay with his seven black ships. After eight days of negotiations, he left stating that he would return the following Spring, and in 1854 an agreement was reached.
In 1859 the shogun returned the favor by sending a trade delegation to the United States. Among the representatives was Baron Ichizaemon Morimura. This young, open-minded diplomat soon realized that Japanese ceramics, avidly collected in Europe since the days of Marco Polo, would be much welcomed by the American public. Because of political turmoil in Japan (the downfall of the shogunate and the restoration of the Meiji dynasty), Morimura had to wait until 1876 to act on his theory. That year he established a trading company with offices in Tokyo, and a retail and wholesale office in New York.
The new company, Morimura Brothers, sourced china, gifts and other decorative products in factories around Nagoya, the center of Japan's ceramic production, and exported the wares to a very receptive audience in America.
By 1904, however, Morimura was determined to control the design and quality of his exports by building his own factory. He chose a location in a little village named Noritake just outside of Nagoya. But it took six years to perfect a manufacturing process that would meet Morimura's exacting standards. Thus the first china products from the new company, called Nippon Toki Kaisha, left Japan for the U.S. in 1910. Since then the United States has remained the principal market for Noritake china.
For over 100 years since that first plate left the factory, Noritake has been setting the table for millions of Americans, and for satisfied consumers world wide. Today Noritake china and Noritake crystal is manufactured in factories located around the world, and exported to over 100 countries. The popularity of the china, and its identification with the little village that is now part of Nagoya city proper, became so great that the company officially changed its name to Noritake Company in 1981.
The Noritake Collections
There are so many current Noritake collections, that we have divided the patterns into sections. If you do not see your favorite pattern listed, visit the Discontinued & Current Patterns section for a catalog of all the Noritake patterns that we have identified.