A Variety of Production Systems
With the Meiji Restoration, the national government designated certain industries and products as part of its export strategy. Arita kilns were quickly modernized and porcelain ware became an important item for export to foreign markets. Arita porcelain was already on exhibit at the 1867 International Exposition in Paris. In later years as the Japonisme boom swept Europe and America, Arita ware continued to be prized for its intricate decoration, delicate craftsmanship, and large scale.
The Taisho and early Showa eras saw the emergence of individual artists producing work apart from industrially manufactured pottery. From such one-person operations, to small-scale pottery workshops, to large factories employing hundreds of workers, Arita produces ceramic art, utilitarian pottery, and fine ceramics on a wide range of levels. This diversity in systems of production has greatly contributed to the town’s resilience and appeal as a pottery-producing region.