About the Historical Japanese Ceramic Comparative Collection

The Historical Japanese Ceramic Comparative Collection (HJCCC) contains digital photographs and resources for identifying and describing Japanese ceramics manufactured during the Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa eras (roughly the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries). This collection provides researchers with comparative examples of Japanese ceramics that are found on North American archaeological sites. The HJCCC is intended to assist in identification of historical Japanese ceramics, to encourage the use of standardized terminology, and to promote further research.

The collection was created by University of Idaho Historical Archaeology Ph.D. Candidate Renae Capmbell as part of her 2018 CDIL Digital Scholarship Fellowship. She received assistance with coding, processing, and design from Evan Williamson, Jessica Wilson-Saia, Kevin Dobbins, Olivia Wikle, and Devin Becker. The site template is based on the CollectionBuilder project being developed by University of Idaho Library Digital Initiatives.

Background

Many of the ceramics in this collection originally belonged to a diverse group of Japanese laborers, families, and American citizens who arrived in North America between approximately 1880 and 1924 and who are collectively known as Issei (Densho Encyclopedia 2017). These items are material remnants of the nineteenth and twentieth-century Japanese ceramics industry, lingering evidence of international trade and migration, and components of daily life that contribute to a more complete understanding of the Issei experiences in North America.

Much of the material on this website is drawn from my master’s research in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Idaho. This research examined collections of Japanese ceramics from archaeological sites in Washington, Oregon, and California that were occupied by Issei between 1903 and 1942. My thesis (Campbell 2017) proposed the working typology for Japanese ceramics that I use on this site and contributes to a growing body of research on the Japanese diaspora. Sources for learning more about the historical background of the Japanese ceramics industry, Japanese migration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Japanese diaspora sites in North America can be found in the References Cited below.

Collections

The HJCCC features examples of historical Japanese ceramics that are likely to be found on archaeological sites in North America. Although not exhaustive, this digital collection is designed to be a collaborative archive that will grow over time. In order to represent a more diverse selection of ceramics, HJCCC items are compiled from multiple sources.

Roughly half of the items in the HJCCC are from Japanese Gulch Village, an archaeological site near Mukilteo, Washington, that was home to Japanese sawmill employees and their families between 1903 and 1928. Excavations at the site in the early 2000s recovered a collection of materials, including Japanese ceramics, that are now housed at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle (White et al. 2009). The Japanese Gulch Village collection is held in trust on behalf of the U.S. Air Force.

The remainder of the ceramics featured in this digital collection are from the Asian American Comparative Collection (AACC) at the University of Idaho. The AACC maintains a comprehensive collection of Asian-manufactured objects that have been, or are likely to be, found in archaeological or museum contexts in the western United States. Unless otherwise noted, AACC objects are comparative examples of historical Japanese ceramics that did not come from archaeological sites.

Classification

The ceramics in this collection are classified according to Japanese nomenclature. By incorporating Japanese terms, HJCCC terminology attempts to match the way that the Japanese ceramics industry describes their products and the way that Issei communities would have understood the vessels that are featured in this collection. The HJCCC classification system was developed in collaboration with Japanese ceramics expert Leland Bibb (Campbell 2017a, 2017b) and continues to grow with the input and assistance of other researchers. An abbreviated typology for ceramic forms can be seen on the Forms page, and full definitions of Japanese terms can be found in the HJCCC Glossary.

Questions, suggestions, and comments are welcome at rjcampbell@uidaho.edu.

Acknowledgements

This research was supported in part by the University of Idaho’s John Calhoun Smith Memorial Fund and a Summer Research Fellowship at the Center for Digital Inquiry and Learning. Research was facilitated through the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Washington, the US Air Force, the Asian American Comparative Collection at the University of Idaho, and the University of Idaho Library’s Digital Initiatives.

Priscilla Wegars, volunteer curator of the Asian American Comparative Collection at the University of Idaho Laboratory of Anthropology, served as peer reviewer for the collection. Japanese ceramics experts Leland E. Bibb and Louise Allison Cort provided information and expertise invaluable to this research. The information presented on these pages also owes a great deal to other researchers whose works are cited below.

Data

The full descriptive metadata can be downloaded as a CSV spreadsheet or JSON export. The data can be subsetted and downloaded as CSV or Excel from the data table.

Technical

This website was created by UI Library's Digital Initiatives using the open source static site generator Jekyll. The basic frame work is created using Bootstrap and jQuery. Document metadata is exposed using DCMI, Schema.org and Open Graph protocol standards.

Last build date: 2019-07-08

Partners
More About the Collections

Many of the artifacts on this site are from the Asian American Comparative Collection (AACC) at the University of Idaho. More examples of artifacts held in this collection can be seen at the AACC Artifact Illustrations page.

Japanese Gulch Village artifacts are part of the Culture Collections at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Learn more about the fascinating collections in recent articles "The soles of the Japanese Gulch" and "Connecting with Japanese Gulch Artifacts".

References Cited in the HJCCC

Bibb, Leland E. 1997 Japanese Ceramics from the Home Avenue Dump, San Diego, California. Manuscript on file, Asian American Comparative Collection, Moscow, Idaho.

Bibb, Leland E. 2001 Japanese Stencilwares of the Meiji and Taisho Eras. Asian American Comparative Collection Newsletter 18 (1):5–6.

Bibb, Leland E. 2007 Pre-1921 Use of Mark "Made in Japan." Asian American Comparative Collection Newsletter 24 (2):5–6.

Bibb, Leland E. 2013 Japanese Ceramics for a Japanese American Farmstead in Gresham, Oregon. In Cultural Resource Investigation for the Proposed Gresham Vista Business Park, Multnomah County, Oregon, by Kanani Paraso, Renae Campbell, David V. Ellis, Donald Shannon, Matt Goodwin, Todd Ogle, Daniel Gilmour, and Andrew Huff, Appendix E. WillametteCRA Report Number 12-06. Prepared for Port of Portland, Oregon. Willamette Cultural Resources Associates, Portland, OR.

Brandt, Lisbeth K. 1996 The Folk-Craft Movement in Early Shôwa Japan, 1925–1945. Doctoral dissertation submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, MI.

Burton, Jeffery F. 2005 The Fate of Things: Archeological Investigations at the Minidoka Relocation Center Dump, Jerome County, Idaho. Western Archeological and Conservation Center Publication in Anthropology 90. National Park Service, Tucson, AZ.

Campbell, Renae J. 2017a Reanalysis of Japanese-Manufactured Ceramics Recovered from Japanese Gulch Village (1903–1930), Mukilteo, Washington. Archaeology in Washington, Volume 17: Archaeology of Japanese Americans.

Campbell, Renae J. 2017b Connections and Distinctions: Historical Archaeological Analysis of Japanese Ceramics Recovered from Three Issei Communities in the American West, 1903–1942. Master's thesis, College of Graduate Studies, University of Idaho, Moscow. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Cort, Louise Allison. 2000 Shigaraki: Potter’s Valley. Weatherhill, NY.

Costello, Julia G., and Mary L. Maniery. 1988 Rice Bowls in the Delta: Artifacts Recovered from the 1915 Asian Community of Walnut Grove, California. Occasional Paper 16. Institute of Archaeology, University of California, Los Angeles.

Costello, Julia G., Judith Marvin, Scott Baker, and Leland Bibb. 2001 Historic Study Report for Three Historic-Period Resources on the Golf Club Rehabilitation Project on US 395 near Bishop, Inyo County, California. Prepared for Department of Transportation, District 9, Eastern Sierra Cultural Resources Branch, Bishop, California under Contract No. 06A0242 Task Order No. 4. Prepared by Foothill Resources, Ltd., Mokelumne Hill, CA.

Cox, Warren E. 1970 The Book of Pottery and Porcelain. Revised Edition. Crown Publishers, Inc., New York.

Crueger, Anneliese, Wulf Crueger, and Saeko Ito. 2006 Modern Japanese Ceramics: Pathways of Innovation and Tradition. Lark Books, NY.

Densho Encyclopedia. 2017 Issei. Densho Encyclopedia. . Accessed 18 January 2017.

Dower, John W. 1971 The Elements of Japanese Design: A Handbook of Family Crests, Heraldry, and Symbolism. Walker/Weatherhill, NY.

Gordon, Andrew. 2009 A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa to the Present. Second Edition. Oxford University Press, New York, NY.

Gorham, Hazel H. 1971 Japanese and Oriental Ceramics. Charles E. Tuttle Company, Rutland, VT.

Great Basin Foundation. 1987 Wong Ho Leun: An American Chinatown, Vol. 2, Archaeology. Great Basin Foundation, San Diego, CA,

Gross, Marty (director). 1984 Mashiko Village Pottery: Japan, 1937. Restored video originally filmed by British potter Bernard Leach in 1937. Marty Gross Film Productions, Toronto, Canada. Excerpt available at, http://mingeifilm.martygrossfilms.com/the-project/films/mashiko-village-pottery-japan-1937/.

Hartill, David. 2011 Early Japanese Coins. Authors Online, Bedfordshire, England.

Jahn, Gisela. 2004 Meiji Ceramics: The Art of Japanese Export Porcelain and Satsuma Ware 1868–1912. Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart, Germany.

Jones, Meghen M. 2014 Tomimoto Kenkichi and the Discourse of Modern Japanese Ceramics. Doctoral dissertation, submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Boston University, MA. University Micro Films International, Ann Arbor, MI.

Litts, Elyce. 1988 The Collector's Encyclopedia of Geisha Girl Porcelain. Collector Books, Padukah, KY.

Morse, Edward S. 1901 (1979) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Catalogue of the Morse Collection of Japanese Pottery. Riverside Press, Cambridge, MA.

Nakajima, Seinosuke. 1999 Hajime no Sometsuke Koto (Beginning Blue and White Antique). Seibido Shuppan, Tokyo, Japan.

Oates, Joan Collett. 1984 Phoenix Bird and Chinaware: A Collector’s Encyclopedia of Its Past—Its Pieces—Its Potteries. Book One. Self-published by Joan Collett Oates and Kenneth Roy Oates, West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Paraso, Kanani, Renae Campbell, David V. Ellis, Donald Shannon, Matt Goodwin, Todd Ogle, Daniel Gilmour, and Andrew Huff . 2013 Cultural Resource Investigation for the Proposed Gresham Vista Business Park, Multnomah County, Oregon. WillametteCRA Report Number 12-06. Prepared for Port of Portland, Oregon. Willamette Cultural Resources Associates, Portland, OR.

Ross, Douglas E. 2009 Material Life and Socio-Cultural Transformation among Asian Transmigrants at a Fraser River Salmon Cannery. PhD thesis submitted to the Department of Anthropology, Simon Fraser University, BC.

Ross, Douglas E. 2012 Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Japanese Domestic Wares from British Columbia. In Ceramics in America, edited by Robert Hunter, pp. 2-29. Chipstone Foundation, Fox Point, WI.

Schaefer, Jerry, and William McCawley. 1999 A Pier into the Past at Point Mugu: The History and Archaeology of a Japanese-American Sportfishing Resort. Prepared for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles, California under contract No. DACA09-94D-0019. Prepared by ASM Affiliates, Encinitas, CA.

Shimura, Goro. 2008 The Story of Imari: The Symbols and Mysteries of Antique Japanese Porcelain. Ten Speed, Berkeley, CA.

Simpson, Penny, Lucy Kitto, and Kanji Sodeoka. 1980 The Japanese Pottery Handbook. Kodansha International, Tokyo.

Simpson, Penny, Lucy Kitto, and Kanji Sodeoka. 2014 The Japanese Pottery Handbook. Updated Edition. Kodansha USA, New York, NY.

Takenobu, Yoshitaro (editor). 1942 Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Van Patten, Joan F. 1994 The Collector's Encyclopedia of Nippon Porcelain, Third Series. Collector Books, Padukah, KY.

Van Patten, Joan F. 1997 The Collector's Encyclopedia of Nippon Porcelain, Fourth Series. Collector Books, Padukah, KY.

Walter, Susan D. 2012 Appendix A: Description of Fish Camp Kushimoto No Kyampu Ceramics of Special Interest. In Results of the Archaeological Monitoring Program for the Restaurant Depot Project, by Carmen Zepeda-Herman and Harry Price, pp. 100–137. Prepared for Jetro Cash and Carry, Anaheim, California. Prepared by RECON Environmental, Inc., San Diego, CA.

Wegars, Priscilla. 2012 Japanese Artifact Illustrations, Terminology, and Selected Bibliography. Pamphlet originally prepared for the Chinese and Japanese Artifact Workshop at the 32nd Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Salt Lake City, UT, 1999.

White, William A., Sharon A. Boswell, and Christian J. Miss. 2009 Results of Data Recovery and Site Evaluation Excavations at the Japanese Gulch Site 45-SN-398, Mukilteo, Washington. NWAA Report Number WA07-057. Report Prepared for Sound Transit, Seattle, Washington. Prepared by Northwest Archaeological Associates, Inc., Seattle, WA.

Wilson, Richard L. 1995 Inside Japanese Ceramics: A Primer of Materials, Techniques, and Traditions. Weatherhill, NY.

Zepeda-Herman, Carmen, and Harry Price. 2012 Results of the Archaeological Monitoring Program for the Restaurant Depot Project. Prepared for Jetro Cash and Carry, Anaheim, California. Prepared by RECON Environmental, Inc., San Diego, CA.