Japanese Banko ware Identification & Marks

Banko Ware is a form of Japanese ceramic ware, mostly earthenware and stoneware bodied and made for export.  It was named after an 18th century potter Rozan Nunami who stamped his work Banko fueki.  The usage of Banko ware as a term of identification is broad and commonly used to refer to a wide range of ceramic export ware from Japan.

Banko ware is still in production today, often in the form of traditional teapots and similar ware.  It is also associated with the city of Yokkaichi in the Mie prefecture around 100km East of Kyoto.  This has lead to it sometimes being referred to as Yokkaichi-banko ware.

Original examples can be found in some museum collections including the British Museum who have a small number of objects (not currently on display).

Due to the large variety of Banko ware items and forms categorisation can be difficult, items exist with enamel decoration, moriage slip, neriage and nerikome clay types with both potted and moulded bodies (the latter often caricatures).  Common decorative themes include flowers and cranes and enamel.  Banko ware items are generally available on the usual online sites at low to modest prices depending on age and quality.  To check our stock on eBay you can click here.

Marks may include incised characters in the clay, impressed and seal type marks and hand written script - items are also often unmarked.  Generic marks include.

Banko: 萬古

Banko-yaki: 萬古焼

Great Japan Banko: 日大 萬古





Japanese Banko ware vase in grey stoneware type clay with enamel decoration.  Probably Taisho period, inter-war.  Maker unknown, impressed clay mark 'Great Japan Banko'


Japanese antique Banko ware dish Japanese Banko ware dish in neriage style agate clay with enamel cranes and gloss glaze.  Maker unknown, impressed clay marks, probably late Meiji or Taisho period



 banko ware marks

Generic Banko impressed clay mark, probably Taisho period.

Great Japan Banko: 日大 萬古

banko ware seal mark

Seal style Banko mark on miniature vase, probably Taisho period.

Banko: 萬古

banko ware seal mark Seal style Banko mark on a wall pocket, probably Taisho period.

Banko: 萬古