Collecting and owning old and original pieces such as Japanese porcelain can be very pleasurable and lucrative. There are many items of antique Kutani porcelain that can be collected and it is also quite easy to identify them too. For the most part, Kutani (and most Japanese pottery and porcelain) was made in the towns where it had originated, also giving the name to the style. After people from the western world came and discovered this pottery, it was exported from Japan to all over the world.
This was great for the potters making these vases and pieces as they could get continuous work which was shipping out regularly. However, countries such as China also began to copy these styles and create their own items which were cheaper to make. These items were still marked as "Kutani" but it was written in English, rather than with Japanese kanji.
So to help you identify a proper piece of antique kutani ware, look at the marking on the bottom. If it is in English, then it could be old - but certainly not original.
Markings can be in almost any color, with red dominating Kutani, but black on green, and gold on red are common also. The mark can be incised, impressed, underglaze, over glaze, or in magic marker. They can be centered, off center, in a circle, in a square, in a double square, in a rectangle, stand alone, and can appear on the reverse or the front of a piece, or in both places simultaneously. The mark might be a place, a name of a person, artist, potter, a shop, a kiln, some marks are pictures and not words, or none of the above. The number of ways that 'Kutani' can be written, legibly and illegibly, will cause your calculator to go into scientific notation.
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