Noritake History

History of Noritake

“Manufacturing beautiful, finely detailed porcelain in Japan.”
Noritake was born of our founders’ passion.
Aspiration for Overseas Trading

Towards the end of the samurai period in Japan, Ichizaemon Morimura, a merchant, witnessed large outflows of gold from Japan to overseas. Preached by Yukichi Fukuzawa, a famous scholar of Western studies, that “in order to get gold back to Japan, we must get hold of foreign currencies by export trade”, Ichizaemon made a resolution to start overseas trading by himself for his country. In 1876, Ichizaemon set up a trading firm called “Morimura Gumi” and sent his brother, Toyo, to New York to open an imported goods store, “Morimura Brothers”. It was the start of their overseas trading and the first step into Noritake’s history.

Completion of Japan’s First Dinner set

In the early days, their trade was focused on Japanese antiques and miscellaneous goods. As the porcelainware was gradually increased in their business, Morimura Gumi was assured of its potetiality. In 1889, Ichizaemon and his comrades visited the World Exposition in Paris and were impressed with beautifully and exquisitely decorated European porcelains. Their desire to “make such beautiful, exquisite pieces in Japan” grew stronger. Eight years later, Ichizaemon dispatched his engineers, to Europe to learn the latest manufachturing methods and this was the beginning of his challenge to achieve white porcelain ware using Japanese materials.

In 1904, “Nippon Toki Gomei Kaisha”, the forerunner of the Noritake Co., Limited, was established and a factory with modern equipment and facilities was constructed in Noritake, Takaba-villlage, Aichi,Japan (present: Noritake-shinmachi, Nishi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi). Although the operation was started, many more years of trial and error were spent before the production got into full swing. It was ten years later, in 1914, that Japan’s first Western-style dinner set was finally completed and exported to the United States. Their dinner ware business proved to be a great success and it grow into the world famous brand known as “Noritake China”.

Tableware Manufacturing Technology – the Core of Business Expansion

While growing as a world famous tableware brand, Noritake has been continuously cultivated and accumulated various ceramics-manufacturing techniques, such as “pulverizing”, “kneading”, “forming”, “firing” and “printing” Also, Noritake has always explored its potential and tried to develop new business fields. Based on the technology of ceramic “grinding wheels” for finishing porcelainware, Noritake started the production and distribution of industrial grinding wheels in 1939. Developing into one of the greatest grinding and polishing specialists in Japan, Noritake currently provides grinding wheels, diamond/CBN tools and coated abrasives for manufacturers in various fields including automobiles, steel, electronics and semiconductors (Industrial Products Business). Noritake’s printing and color mixing technologies to decorate tableware have been adopted in the production of electronic components for automobile, energy and medical industries (Ceramics & Materials Business). Noritake’s firing and drying process technologies are employed in the manufacturing process of electronics and battery materials as engineering equipment (Engineering Business).

As its business expanded into many different fields, “Nippon Toki Co. Ltd.” was renamed as “Noritake Co., Limited” in 1981. Noritake has transformed itself into what it is today; a multidimensional business entity with the high caliber to offer products and technologies to a wide range of industries.

Manifest Noritake’s Potential into the Future

Today, environmental issues such as global warming and energy issues are becoming much more apparent, and Noritake has already embarked on new challenges. Consolidating the technologies acquired and perfected in each business field and the cutting-edge technologies developed by the R&D department, Noritake is to contribute to the next-generation energy industries of solar cells and fuel cells.

In the spirit of “Dedicate yourself to the community and to the nation, and ennoble your character, work for the prosperity of the country and the happiness of the people through foreign trade, and contribute to permanent world peace” which was advocated by Ichizaemon Morimura, the founder of Noritake, together with a passion for fulfilling “the desire to manufacture beautiful, finely detailed porcelain”, Noritake will manifest its potential into the future.