I’m going to tell you about treasure and treasure hunting, (the treasure in this case is Occupied Japan Collectibles).
This is a story about what happened, after Japan surrendered, at the end of WWII, that brought about the creation of manufactured ceramics / porcelain dishware and figurines, stamped with the addition of the words “Occupied Japan”.
I will tell you a little bit about how Occupied Japan Collectibles came to be.
This writing will show a few ceramic figurines, a tea set, cups & saucers, a dinner plate, a covered casserole dish & their manufacturing stamps.
It All Began With War
The story begins in the early 1930s. The Tokyo government took over a Chinese province, (Manchuria), which Tokyo renamed Manchukuo.
Time passed, then there was a clash at the Marco Polo bridge near Beijing, (this was on July 7, 1937).
These actions, along with other things happening with Hitler and his allies, seemed to cause the United States to react in a way that they hadn’t done so in the past, with China. The US government gave it’s 1st loan to China, (1938).
On December 7th, 1941, Japan’s military launched a surprise attack on the United States Naval Base, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
War takes it’s tole on men, women, children, farms, businesses, structures and machines, but finally, over time, battles and bombs, Japan surrenders.
This is not a story about war. If you would like to better understand this topic, to begin, go to http://www.britannica.com and read “Pearl Harbor Attack”.
The War Has Ended. The Nation, the People of Japan, Need Help
Japan’s occupation had been discussed and was agreed on by the Allies in a series of wartime conferences.
The occupation was supposed to be a joint occupation by international powers, but the majority, of the governing of the nation of Japan, was entrusted to the U.S. forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.
General MacArthur’s mission, was to revive Japan’s economy.
Due to the occupation, from 1945 to 1952, factories in Japan were told to print “Occupied Japan” or “Made in Occupied Japan” on products.
And so, Occupied Japan collectibles came into being.
Interest Takes Off with this Collectible.
Interest in Occupied Japan grew in the late 60s. Many Occupied Japan collectibles were seen as affordable and easy to identify.
Gene Florence was an author of at least 5 books on the subject of Occupied Japan collectibles.
He was regarded by many as the foremost authority in the field.
You may see Occupied Japan ceramics, manufactured under the name Ardalt, Andrea or Paulux, (being higher priced).
Mr. Florence said, “What’s interesting is that these were marketed in the downscale 10 cent stores of the time and considered inferior, but…a lot of these pieces were actually of very high quality”.
Tidbits of Information and My Feelings about Occupied Japan Collectibles
Dinnerware sets are said to be overrated, if you intent is as an investment. The problem often is no matching pieces, (this plate is beautifully decorated, but finding matching pieces might be problematic).
All of the pieces featured in this story, were manufactured 70 years ago. All survive post Occupied Japan, (from 1952 to present day).
I got lucky with this pattern, as one day, I found another cup and saucer just like the one I had found years ago.
I love cups and saucers, tea sets and beautiful dishware, but figurines are fun too.
Most times, larger figurines are more valuable, as they are more scarce.
If you find a pair of figurines and a comparable quality of a single figurine, the pair will bring a better price, (often twice the value), of single figures.
Figurines 8″ or less are more common, so not as valuable.
You do have to beware of forgeries.
Be warry of anything plastic, (there is doubt that any Occupied Japan pieces were made of plastic).
On ceramics / porcelain be warry of “Occupied Japan” lettering that appears as “perfect”. I am repeating this concern from statements I have read, but, I find this interesting as the only piece I have, that I am concerned with is my Victorian Era Man, (see my comments about it under the image of it’s stamp).
Did you know, there is still treasure out there to be found, if you know what is a treasure and where you might find it? Now, wouldn’t you like to go on a treasure hunt?
A few of the pieces you see here, were passed on to me, by my mom, but I am a treasure hunter.
The majority, of the pieces pictured, I found in thrift stores.
I call it treasure hunting, because you never know what you will find, it’s always a hunt and often you find a treasure, like any one of these lovely pieces.
I enjoy, treasure hunting and decorating my home, with these beauties from the past.
I think many of you out there might enjoy treasure hunting for Occupied Japan too.