Toshiba Lectures 2012: Nicole Rousmaniere on Japanese Porcelain


It was “Asian Art in London” back in November and although I wasn't able to take full advantage, I did attend two of the Toshiba Lectures by Nicole Rousmaniere on “Japanese Porcelain, A four hundred year history”.  She explored the Japanese enthusiasm for Chinese wares in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the trade patterns whereby metals such as silver were exported from Japan, and the ships returned to Japan filled with ceramics as ballast.  She highlighted the importance of the Nabeshima family in fostering the nascent Japanese porcelain industry, and the Nabeshimas' annual gift of Chinese ceramics to the Tokugawa shogunate, with Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-51) permitting a switch from Chinese to Japanese porcelain.  By the 1680s or 1690s, the Chinese were imitating Japanese styles such as Kakiemon and Imari.  Lively and informative lectures – sorry indeed to miss the third.

Toshiba Lectures in Japanese Art 2012: Japanese Porcelain, A four hundred year history
Nicole Rousmaniere:
“Vessels of Influence, China and the birth of porcelain in early modern Japan”, 1 November 2012
“White Gold, Japanese export porcelain and international trade networks”, 8 November 2012

Above: Dish with design of radishes. Edo period (1615–1868). 1650s. Porcelain with underglaze blue, yellow-brown glaze, and overglaze enamels (Hizen ware, Nabeshima type). Width 11.4cm; length 15.9cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art, at