Japan's imitation of Song and Yuan Dynasty Longquan celadon in the 1920s was excellent. Let's take a look at the Japanese imitation of Southern Song Dynasty Longquan in the 19th century, which indeed has a unique flavor. This replica was made by Kato, a famous Japanese ceramic antiquity imitator. Kato was born in 1879 and died in 1962. His meticulously imitated Chinese Southern Song Dynasty Longquan porcelain once caught the eye of some Western collectors. Many of his works since the 1920s are now auctioned as modern art pieces, fetching high prices. His son is also a highly accomplished master of Chinese ancient porcelain imitation in Japan. Their understanding and inheritance of Chinese ancient ceramics are indeed impressive.

Chinese Longquan porcelain imitations from early 20th century Japan

The Jun glaze from Henan, China, which Japan imitated in the 19th century, shows their mature mastery of copper-red glaze technology. From the 19th century to the 21st century, Japan's imitation techniques and localization techniques have improved significantly, but they are very low-key, especially their high-quality imitation techniques and products of Chinese ceramics are little known to the Chinese.

Chinese Jun-glazed porcelain fired in Japan during the 19th century

Looking back at Japan's ancient ceramic history and studying Japan's local ancient ceramic kilns, from the 14th to 16th centuries, Seto City's Akatsuki kiln in Japan was able to produce exquisite Tenmoku porcelain (imitating Jizhou and Jian kilns). Japan has always been fascinated by Chinese ancient ceramics, and their research spirit is admirable. They not only conduct in-depth research and investigation, but also practice diligently. I remember in the early 1980s, a Japanese scholar studying Ding kiln wore a suit and leather shoes and spent eight years in Dingzhou, conducting research and investigation, recording nearly a million words of research notes, and collecting countless specimens. In the 1980s, Chinese people were busy doing business, but the specimens and research notes he brought back were donated to important Japanese museums and joint academic institutions for research. Subsequently, based on this, Japan became the most authoritative and influential country in the international study of Ding kiln. To this day, China has not been able to surpass it internationally.


In fact, since the Tang Dynasty, Japan has been secretly learning from China, and they are diligently researching and inheriting. However, they rarely publicize it, so we are not clear about it. Many traditions from the Tang Dynasty in China have been completely inherited and preserved by them. This is indeed worth our deep thought.

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