Contact your local university's language, arts or history department to see if someone can help decode the marks on your Japanese piece.
Reaching out to a local artisans' guild can also be a way to glean information.
Porcelain production began in Japan in the early seventeenth century, several hundred years after it had first been made in China during the Tang dynasty (618–906) (26.292.98).
This refined white ceramic requires more advanced technology than other ceramic types.
Another characteristically Japanese aspect of the art is the continuing popularity of unglazed high-fired stoneware even after porcelain became popular.
Since the 4th century, Japanese ceramics have often been influenced by Chinese and Korean pottery.
The Nabeshima lord took Korean potters back to his province of Hizen on Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s main islands.
These potters would eventually become the first producers of porcelain in Japan, but they started out by reviving the production of a type of stoneware called Karatsu ware (2002.447.21).
Once the requirement for foreign origins was imposed, many American manufacturers also began marking their items with some indication of source to take advantage of "Buy American" sentiment.Check the dealer's website or make a preliminary phone call to determine their specialty.The dealer may want to charge a consultation fee, or he may let you know that he would like to sell your piece if you desire, depending upon his policy.A certified appraiser, another professional to seek out, may charge an appraisal fee, but their knowledge is worth it if your piece is at all valuable.Alternately, most places of higher learning often yield free and trusted resources.Many of them came to Japan during two invasions of Korea led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 1590s.