The history of Noritake dates back to 1876 when the Morimura Brothers, Ichizaemon and Toyo, established a trading company called Morimura Kumi. Originally, the company's primary focus was the export of traditional Japanese items like chinaware, curios, and decorative items. In 1904, the Morimura brothers ventured into the production of Western-style porcelain, aiming to cater to the growing demand for these products in both domestic and international markets.
They opened a factory in the village of Noritake, near Nagoya, Japan, and named their porcelain brand after this location. Noritake began with the production of high-quality tableware, following the Western geometric shapes and designs that were in vogue at the time. The company's early designs often featured intricate hand-painted decorations, gold accents, and a focus on craftsmanship.
In 1914, Noritake made a significant breakthrough in its porcelain production by developing a material known as "Ivory China," which had exceptional durability and translucency. This innovative product contributed to Noritake's reputation for producing top-quality porcelain that rivaled the finest European manufacturers.
Over the years, Noritake continued to expand its product catalog and refine its manufacturing techniques. The company introduced various patterns and styles, adapting to changing preferences and global design trends. From elaborate and highly detailed decorations of the early years, Noritake gradually transitioned to more modern and simplified designs, capturing the Art Deco and Mid-century Modern aesthetics.
Noritake also established a presence in the United States, with an office in New York City, which facilitated the distribution and promotion of its products to the American market. The company's success in the United States further solidified its reputation as a leading porcelain manufacturer.
In addition to tableware and dinnerware, Noritake expanded into other areas such as collectibles, giftware, and even industrial ceramics. They also collaborated with renowned designers and artists to create exclusive lines and limited-edition pieces.
Today, Noritake remains a well-known and respected brand in the world of porcelain and ceramic tableware. With a history spanning over a century, the company continues to innovate and create beautiful and functional porcelain products that are appreciated by customers worldwide.