Subject:Re: Any Help To Identify Japanese or Chinese Blue & White Plate
Posted By: Bill H Sat, Feb 29, 2020
The plate is Japanese transfer ware. The mark, shown upside down, appears to be that of the Seiji Kaisha (Pure Water) Company, a late 19th century venture by members of the Fukagawa family in the Koransha (Scented Orchid Company) with descendants of Korean potters resettled to Japan in the late 16th century after being captured by Japanese troops during an abortive attempt by the Daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi to invade China via the Korean Peninsula. According to the website gotheborg.com, the Seiji Kaisha venture only operated from 1879 to about 1897.
Here's a relevant snippet on Arita potters from a 1901 book by Frank Brinkley, "Japan, Its History, Arts and Literature, Volume 8". Note that "Seiji Kaisha" is spelled "Seiji-sha". Some of the Japanese names may vary from modern transliterations.
"The family of Fukami, founded by Fukami Obasen, one of the Koreans who came to Japan in the train of Hide-yoshi’s generals.–Obasen’s descendants have been engaged as potters at Arita ever since the close of the sixteenth century, but they employed no marks by which their productions can be identified until the time of Fukami Sumi-No Suki, one of the founders of the Seiji-sha. Sumi-no-suke developed great skill in the manufacture of porcelain decorated with blue sous couverte. Excellent pieces made by him are to be found. They bear the mark “Made by Toshikian Kiso” (vide Marks and Seals). He died in 1886, and was succeeded by his younger brother, Fukami Takeji."
The first image below are of a fish-form side dish with an iron red Seiji Kaisha mark.
The second image shows views of a small libation vessel with gold Koransha mark and signature of "Made by Toshikian Kiso". This piece certainly demonstrates the excellence noted by Frank Brinkley.