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Japanese Satsuma Ware Marks and Information

Japanese Satsuma Ware Pottery

Satsuma ware is perhaps one of the most well known of the Japanese pottery styles often richly decorated with fine detail and liberal use of gold.  The name comes from the region controlled by the Shimazu clan (Satsuma-han - officially Kagoshima and surrounding areas).  The history goes back much further to around 1600 when Satsuma pottery was generally plain and in dark clay, very different from the 19th century pieces made for export to the West.

Satsuma comes in many forms and the term is a catch-all covering highly decorated fine work, through the Awata style with enamel decoration and the later post war moriage decorated forms which are often a world away in terms of quality from the 19th century production.

One of the features of Satsuma ware is the crazing, sometimes darkened, which covers the plain areas of the pottery, this can be very fine and almost invisible to the eye through to obvious and heavy.  One sign of late 20th century reproductions is often the fake looking attempt to reproduce crazing.  To check our stock of satsuma ware click here.

 

Satsuma Marks

Marks are most often hand painted over glaze and may include the artist as well as the Satsuma mark along with other details.  Impressed and incised marks are far less common.  Unmarked pieces, or those simply marked Satsuma are also very common.  See below to navigate the marks, or simply scroll through - note some of the marks can be clicked to show the object the mark came from.

 

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Generic marks

Just as with Western items Satsuma pottery often had words such as 'made' or 'artist' incorporated into the mark and can also be in combination.  Some examples are given below.

Satsuma: 薩摩  -  occasionally in hiragana characters: さつま, or katakana : サツマ

Satsuma (abbreviated): 薩广

Satsuma-yaki: 薩摩焼 - Satsuma ware

Shimazu clan mark:   -  sometimes found on the body separately from the base mark.  The Shimazu clan were the daimyo over the Satsuma domain (Kagoshima) and surrounding area.

 

Other character marks may include:

Country (as in area of manufacture) - 國 (kuni)

Created/Made - 造 (zo) (tsuku-ru)

For left - 左用 (Sayō) indicating the vase should be placed on the left

For right - 右用 (Migi-yō) indicating the vase should be placed on the right

Great Japan - 大日本 (Dai Nihon) generally changed to just Nihon in the Taisho period

Japan - 大日 (Nihon)

Kiln - 窯 (kama)

Kyoto - 京都

Made - 製 (Sei)

Made by - 製之 (sei no) used subsequent to artists name

Made in the hall (as in workshop of) - 堂製 (do sei)

Painter/Artist - 画 (ga)

Patent - 特許 (tokkyo)

Patent - 專賣特許 (Senbai tokkyo) the Japanese patent act of 1895

Produced/Made - 作 (tsukuru)

Region / Country - 国 (kuni)

Tokyo - 東京

Ware - 焼 (yaki)

Work of art - 美術品 (bi jutsu shina)

Yokohama (City) - 横浜 (市) - (Yokohama-shi)

 

Examples of Satsuma Ware Items

 satsuma ware vase by hododa

 

Japanese Satsuma ware vase with elaborate gilt work and hardwood stand.  Meiji period, 19th century c1870.  Signed to the base for Hododa under the Shimazu crest.

 

japanese kyoto style satsuma ware vase Japanese Satsuma ware covered vase and stand in the Kyoto style with moriage detail.  Unmarked, late 19th century Meiji period.
satsuma dragon ware teapot Japanese Satsuma ware teapot with profuse detail and dragon form mouldings.  Meiji period, late 19th century.  Signed to the base for Gyokuzan with Great Japan.
 

 

Satsuma Marks

Generic marks

Hand painted Satsuma ware made in Japan Hand Painted Made in Japan - printed mark on the base of a late period Kyoto style Satsuma vase with brown ground and large Samurai warrior figures highlighted with moriage.  Early Showa period c1930.
satsuma vase japan ⊕ 日本 - Japan (Nihon) under the Shimazu clan mark.  From a vase with profuse gilt over birds and flowers.  Early Taisho period.  Japanese nationalism reduced after the Meiji period and the 'Great' was commonly dropped from Great Japan as with this mark here.
satsuma ware made in japan Made in Japan - Printed mark in gilt on a pair of late Taisho or Showa period vases with large immortals and mountainous landscapes over a brown matt glaze background.  Note the incorrect format of the 'N', such errors were common in the early 20th century.
 satsuma pottery generic mark Hand scripted in red, somewhat unclear mark, but appears to read (on right):  薩摩 Satsuma, followed by (on left) 薩画 Satsuma (abbreviated) ga (Satsuma painted).  Mark from a late Meiji/Taisho vase painted with wisteria.
satsuma yaki ⊕ 薩广 - Satsuma under the Shimazu clan mark.  Gold characters on a red lozenge ground from a millefiori design vase, early 20th century, late Meiji
satsuma under shimazu crest printed 薩摩 ⊕薩摩 - Satsuma under the Shimzu crest.  The mark appears to be printed rather than hand painted.  Mark from a vase with pheasants and flowers likely late Taisho early Showa period.  Image courtesy of C.A.Y. Lau
satsuma pottery in katakana script Satsuma (ya) サツマ ヤ - Satsuma in katakana script forming the sound of the word.  Final character is 'ya', perhaps short for yaki (made) in which case the complete phrase should be サツマ ヤキ

A

Japanese satsuma moriage style items - abe 阿部 Abe 阿部 - Written right to left under the fan logo.  Also reads Dai Nihon (Great Japan) above.  Mark from a moriage cup and saucer probably Taisho period.  No further information currently available about this maker or perhaps merchant.  Click the mark to see the item.  Images by kind permission of Dafne.
asayama satsuma pottery Asayama or (Chozan) zo 朝山造 - Also reads 大日本 (dai Nihon) 京都 (Kyoto) 東山 - either Tozan (a name), or Higashiyama (a ward in Kyoto).  If meant to read Tozan then in this case likely decorated by Tozan with the pot made by Asayama. Naming uncertain, some references translate 朝山 as Chozan, others including Bonhams specify it as Asayama which is the standard modern translation. Mark from a Meiji period bowl with Samurai warriors, above average quality.

B

satsuma ware banzan Banzan -  伴山 Hand scripted gilt mark on black lozenge.  From a squat vase with ladies and children visiting a park.  Meiji period.
Japanese Satsuma pottery by Bizan Bizan 美山 - Hastily drawn in gilt over a red lozenge.  Bizan was a decorating workshop in Kyoto and during the Meiji period produced some fine pieces.  Mark from a pair of landscape vases, Taisho period.  A Bizan vase is housed in the Portland Art Museum.  Click the mark to see the vase pair.
satsuma pottery - bizan made Bizan 美山 - Gilt script on black lozenge under the Shimazu clam mark in gilt and red.  Mark from a vase with basic painted figures, probably Taisho period.

C

chikusai satsuma ware Chikusai 竹斎 - Also marked 薩摩 (Satsuma) above.  A relatively unknown maker, Chikusai is the On reading and it could also be read as Taketoki.  Few examples of their work are referenced.  The Shimazu clan mark is often found below the main mark.  This mark from a bowl, late Meiji period. 
satsuma pottery information Chikuzan 竹山 Chikuzan (zo)  竹山 造 - Gilt script on black lozenge from a late Meiji or Taisho era vase featuring women and children engaged in outdoor activities.  Shimazu crest above.
satsuma pottery by choshuzan Choshuzan 長州山 - Gilt script and stylised form of the mark in multi lined box.  Mark from a landscape painted vase, Meiji period.
dai nihon japanese satsuma cermics from the meiji period Choshuzan 長州山 - Gilt script directly on the vase base.  Mark from a Kyoto style vase with Samurai, late Meiji.  A number of stylistically different Choshuzan marks are found, perhaps suggesting they are from more than one artist or kiln.  Also reads Dai Nihon (Great Japan) above.
learn about satsuma ware markings - choshuzan Choshuzan 長州山 - Possibly printed mark from a Taisho period covered vase with Samurai and moriage detail.
Kyoto Satsuma pottery Chozan Chozan or (Asayama) zo 朝山 - Mark also reads 大日本 (dai Nihon) 京都 (Kyoto) 東山 either Higashiyama - a district of Kyoto or Tozan, probably a painter.  Naming uncertain, some references translate the name as Chozan, others including Bonhams specify it as Asayama which is the standard modern translation.  Mark from a Meiji period bowl with Samurai warriors, above average quality.

D

satsuma ware mark Daimyo Daimyo (Sei) 大名 製 hand scripted mark in red panel from a saucer with immortals & dragons (same set as above).  Further marked ?山画 (painted by - possibly Shozan). Also marked 薩广 國 (Satsuma region) and 大日本 (Great Japan) across the top.  Meiji c1900. Image by kind permission of Kiko.
satsuma ware mark daimyo Daimyo (Sei) 大名 製 hand scripted mark in red panel from a saucer with immortals & dragons (same set as above).  Further marked ?山画 (painted by - possibly Shozan). Also marked 薩广 國 (Satsuma region) and 大日本 (Great Japan) across the top.  Meiji c1900. Image by kind permission of Kiko.

E

 antique satsuma pottery Ekido (Sei) 易堂 製 hand scripted mark in black panel under the Shimazu crest.  Also marked 美術品 (work of art).  Meiji 19th century.

F

antique japanese satsuma pottery Fan - 扇 (Ogi) - Unusual mark just using the noun 'ogi' which describes the shape of the mark.  On a Satsuma dish with floral designs, Taisho period.
japanese satsuma pottery by fukuzan 福山 Fukuzan 福山 - Hand scripted in gilt directly to the base.  Mark from a vase with raised 3d figures, Showa period.  Other Fukuzan style marks exist on much finer Satsuma ware, likely a different unrelated maker of the same name.
satsuma ware prices - value your satsuma ware by Fuzan Fuzan 冨山 - Gilt script mark on a red lozenge.  The 'zan' character with the left upright rubbed on this example.  Mark from a late Meiji or Taisho vase with cobalt ground and sparsely decorated with bamboo.

G

Satsuma items for sale Gassan 月山 - gilt script on red lozenge.  Mark from a high quality jar painted with birds, Meiji period.
genzan satsuma ware Genzan 源山 hand scripted in gilt over a black lozenge.  Mark from a late Meiji or Taisho cup and saucer painted with gilt lined flowers, click the mark to see the item.
satsuma pottery from blue cherry antiques Gingetsu (zo) 吟月造 - Made by Gingetsu, gilt script on black under a red Shimazu crest.  Also reads Dai Nippon Kuni in the right column and Satsuma Yaki down the center.  No further information available about this maker.  Mark from a bowl with 'The Procession of the Samurai' decoration.  Meiji period.
Satsuma ware by gyokusen Gyokusen 玉仙 hand scripted in gilt over a grey lozenge.  Also reads 薩广 (Satsuma) with the Shimazu clan crest above.  There appears to be perhaps several different artists signing as Gyokusen/Gyokuzan during the Meiji period, some using it as an assumed artitic name.
satsuma pottery from Japan Gyokushu ga 玉秀画 - painted by Gyokushu on a late Meiji or Taisho dish.  Also reads Great Japan on the right and Satsuma Yaki down the center.  All under the Shimazu crest.
satsuma ware vases Gyokushu ga 玉秀画 - painted by Gyokushu on a late Meiji vase with Bijin and cobalt blue ground.  Shimazu crest above and Satsuma Yaki on the right.
satsuma ware mark Gyokuzan Gyokuzan 玉山 hand scripted mark in gold to left side with Great Japan above and Satsuma kuni (region) to the right.  Meiji, 19th century.  Mark from a dragonware teapot.
satsuma pottery information Gyokuzen for Hododa - ユ 玉仙 (yu) Gyokusen, 薩摩焼 Satsuma yaki, 保土田 造 Hododa zo all under a large Shimazu clan crest. Probably decorated by Gyokuzen for Hododa, with Hododa being the mechant in this case.  Mark from a high quality Meiji period vase with Bijin and a graduated ground.

H

hakusan satsuma pottery mark  

Hakusan 白山 hand scripted in simple outlined lozenge.  A small factory but very consistent high quality. Meiji, late 19th century

Also translates as white mountain and Mount Haku(san), a volcanic mountain.

Hakusan Satsuma Pottery Mark

Hakusan 白山 hand scripted in simple outlined lozenge as above.

Mark from a pair of late Meiji vases with countryside scenes and villagers.

japanese satsuma ware mark hattori

Hattori (zo) 服部 造 hand scripted in gold on black panel under the Shimazu mon.  Also marked Satsuma made 薩广. This factory was known for the very high quality of output and first to use cobalt blue from the West. Meiji, late 19th century c1880.

satsuma ware mark hattori

Hattori (zo) - 服部 造 - hand scripted in gold on red panel under the Shimazu mon.  Also marked Satsuma made 广. This mark to a finely painted vase with Rakan.

hattori yokohama satsuma ware Hattori (Yokohama)服部 横浜 - A Satsuma decorator based in Yokohama, painting blanks from other kilns.  The mark in a butterfly cartouche with the decoration on the vase being innumerate tiny butterflies.
satsuma pottery 19th century Hayakawa 早川 - Gilt script on a red ground from a late Meiji koro in the Kyoto style.  Shimazu clan crest above.  There are a number of possible translations, but the consensus appears to be around Hayakawa.  
black glazed satsuma ware Hayakawa 早川 - Gilt script onto matt black ground.  From a small Satsuma vase with acer leaves.  Probably Taisho period.
Hododa satsuma pottery mark

 

Hododa 保土田 hand scripted under the Shimazu crest, also marked Satsuma 薩摩.  Meiji, 19th century. Also has a paper label with the number 三六五八 (3658), possibly a batch or reference number.

Due to the very wide variation of items it is considered Hododa were a merchant as well as manufacturer and many Hododa marked items were made by other workshops

Hododa 保土田 hand scripted under the Shimazu crest on red panel.  Meiji, late 19th century. This mark from a tea cup.

satsuma ware mark

Hododa 保土田 hand scripted under the Shimazu crest on black panel.  Partial Satsuma mark to the right.  This mark hastily drawn and at odds with the richly decorated Rakan vase it was taken from. Meiji, c1900.

satsuma ware made in Japan Hododa 保土田 in a red cartouche painted in gilt with the Shimazu crest above.  Note the 'Made in Japan' sticker to comply with the McKinley tariff act of 1890.  Satsuma items do not appear to be commonly marked in this form until well into the 20th century, instead relying on labels or details on the packaging.
Satsuma ware for sale

Hododa Zo保土田造 gold on black panel from a finely painted kogo, Meiji period.  Also reads 薩摩焼 (Satuma ware), 日本 (Nihon - Japan) and 横浜 (old form of Yokohama, where Hododa was based). Image by kind permission of J Brassey

Satsuma Ware Hododa 保土田 - Fan shape mark with Hododa reading vertically in the center.  Also reads right to left 薩广 (Satsu-ma) split across the Hododa mark.  From a late 19th century Meiji period vase with 'Procession of the Samurai' decoration.
collecting japanese satsuma ware - hododa (Dai Nihon) Hododa Zo, Seizan 大日本 保土田造 盛山 - Mark from a Meiji period vase with a Samurai meeting.  In this case Hododa is the maker or merchant and Seizan the artist.  Note there is disagreement over the reading of Seizan, some interpret it as Moriyama.  Seizan would appear to be a mix of the On and Kun reading which would seem unusual.
satsuma ware mark

Hozan (zo) 芳山 造 hand scripted under the Shimzau crest on red panel. Abbreviated Satsuma mark to left.  Mark on a finely decorated early Meiji vessel with inscription.  This mark also translates as Yoshiyama and differs from other Hozan marked pieces also producing Satsuma ware.  By kind permission of Thomaspden.

satsuma vase mark by Hozan Hozan 寳山 - hand scripted mark under the Shimzu crest.  Mark from a Taisho/early Showa vase with landscape scenics.  There appear to be a number of artists/kilns signing as Hozan of varying quality, probably unrelated to each other.  A Hozan signature is also found under the Yasuda logo on some wares.
Lear about satsuma ware - Hozan Hozan 鳳山 - Gilt raised script directly onto the base.  Mark from a bowl, Meiji period.  There are a number of kilns and/or decorators signing as Hozan using different forms during the Meiji and 20th century period.
satsuma ware for sale - hozan for yasuda Hozan 宝山 - Gilt script on red lozenge.  Hozan signed under the Yasuda logo.  There are numerous different Hozan marks on Satsuma ware, most are different decorators or kilns.  This mark is understood to be for Matsumoto Hozan, noted for working with Yasuda and producing high quality items, Meiji & Taisho periods.

I

satsuma ware by ichizan Ichizan 市山 - Gilt script under the Shimazu crest.  Mark from a vase probably Taisho period.
satsuma database information Izumiyama (see Senzan) 泉山 - Stylised character form of Senzan in gold over a black lozenge. Mark from a Meiji period kogo with wisteria. The mark is sometimes referenced as Izumiyama or Izuyama in the Kun reading, although most Satsuma potters used the Chinese On form at this period

K

satsuma ware kanzan Kanzan 桓山 - Hand scripted mark on late Meiji period small box with flowers and mountainous scene.  This name is translated as Sozan in some literature, however it appears generally accepted that the name is Kanzan when used on Satsuma ware.  Bonhams, Sotheby's and Christie's catalogue it as Kanzan.
satsuma pottery from Japan Kanzan 桓山 - Hand scripted mark on late Meiji period small bowl richy decorated with panel scenes.  This name is translated as Sozan in some literature, however it appears generally accepted that the name is Kanzan when used on Satsuma ware.  Bonhams, Sotheby's and Christie's catalogue it as Kanzan.
satsuma pottery values - keizan Keizan 圭山 - Stylised mark on the base of a kogo, probably Taisho period.  This mark is perhaps for Kobayashi Keizan a known painter whose mark can also be found in conjunction with the of Kinkozan.
Satsuma pottery information Kichizan 吉山 - Gilt script in black lozenge under the Shimazu crest.  The name can also be read as Yoshiyama.  Taisho period mark from a vase with landscapes.
antique satsuma ware information kikkoen 橘香園 Kikkoen (zo) 橘香園 造 - Gold script on black lozenge from a late Meiji period vase with wisteria and butterflies.  The name also translates rather beautifully as 'mandarin orange orchard'.
satsuma pottery Kikkozan 吉光山 red lozenge mark from late Meiji vases with moriage dragons.  An apparently un-referenced maker, the name likely in the On reading and could also be Kitsukoukosan etc.  In Kun it could be Yoshimitsuyama.  Also reads 'Great Japan' across the top, 'Satsuma region' on the right.
satsuma marks research information Kineizan Kineizan 錦栄山 - Name probably Kineizan, reversed it can be Nishiki, although it seems unlikely to read bottom to top.  Maker or artist appears largely unknown, only occasionally seen.  Referenced examples all from dragon ware tea ware with moriage detail.  Taisho or Showa I period.

Kinkozan 錦光山 poorly hand scripted mark on an early 20th century Awata style item.  Workers were paid per item produced so often the marks can be very hastily written and difficult to read.

Kinkozan was one of the most famous and prolific of the Satsuma makers and quality varied widely.  The also employed other decorators who would also sometimes have their own name as part of the mark.

kinkozan signature on kyo-yaki satsuma ware vase

Kinkozan (zo) 錦光山 造 hand scripted mark on a large Kyoto (Kyo-yaki) style vase.  Also marked great Japan 大日本, Meiji late 19th century.

Kinkozan Satsuma

Kinkozan 錦光山 classic stylised mark from the height of Satsuma production during the Meiji period c1880.  From a high quality small vase featuring Bijin.  Image by kind permission of S Cookie.

kinkozan satsuma Kinkozan zo 錦光山 printed mark on a late Taisho or Showa period vase with dancing females over a basic landscape.  Quality at the low end for Kinkozan, typical of production just prior to WW2.
kinkozan satsuma pottery Kinkozan zo 錦光山造 - stylised mark in gold script on red lozenge.  Mark from a vase painted with acer trees and leaves, late 19th century Meiji period.
kinkozan satsuma

Kinkozan 金光山 - Alternative form of writing Kinkozan.  Currently it is considered this is the same Kinkozan who used the more common form, I have not found evidence either way to date.  Mark from a poor quality vase with cobalt blue glaze, Taisho or Showa period.

learn about satsuma ware - kinkozan Kinkozan Asano Zo 金光山 浅野造 - Alternative form of writing Kinkozan.  Also reads Made by Asano on the right, perhaps for the blank pot decorated by Kinkozan, or possibly a commissioning dealer.  Also has the Shimazu clan mark and Made in Japan.  The mark is printed on a fairly low grade vase with Geisha and Samurai with moriage, late Taisho or Showa period.
satsuma marks - reference and sales Kinshozan 錦正山 - Gilt script on black lozenge from a dish with Bijin, Meiji period.  Maker appears unreferenced.  Also reads Satsuma yaki on the right.
satsuma pottery information kinzan 金山 Kinzan 金山 - Gilt script on red lozenge.  Mark from a late Meiji period vase with women and children in a landscape.
satsuma database - kitamura 喜多村 Kitamura 喜多村 - It is considered this mark is for Kitamura Yaichiro, principal of the Kobe Pottery School and noted for visiting Sevres and Limoges on a trip to France.  His work tends to specialise in large numbers of miniature characters painted in scenes.
satsuma ware marks and information 輝山 Kizan 輝山  之 - Kizan zo no (Kizan created this).  Mark from a late Meiji vase in the Kytoto style.  Kizan can be written in a number of ways and it appears there were multiple different kilns/artists signing as Kizan during the Meiji and later periods.
konishi satsuma ware

Konishi (zo) 小西 造 poorly hand scripted mark on a large heavily gilded dish with Samurai.  Also marked great Japan 大日本, and (probably) 東都 - old form of Tokyo East Capital.  Meiji late 19th century.

 

Japanese satsuma ware

Koshida 越田 gilt painted mark on a pair of late 19th century vases with village life scenes.  Particularly fine gilt line work on the dresses and trees.  Meiji period.  Koshida was a business name rather than a kiln or artist, examples exist marked 'Koshida' in Western script.  Quality varies from distinctly average to very good.

satsuma ware marks - koshida Koshida 越田 - gilt script on red lozenge.  Mark from a small bowl painted with flowers, of fairly basic quality.  Late Meiji or Taisho period.
find out more about satsuma ware by Koshida 越田

Koshida 越田 - hastily drawn gilt script on red lozenge.  Mark from a plate with dignitaries in a bamboo forest, late Meiji or Taisho.

learn about satsuma ware - koshida 越田 Koshida 越田 - Mark in decorative cartouche from a high quality piece decoated with cherry blossom trees.  Meiji period.
find out more about Satsuma ware

Koyama Nanpo 小山 南畝 - Gilt script on a cobaly blue ground bowl, Meiji period.  Koyama is a family name and Nanpo a given name.  As yet I have been unable to find any original references to this maker or decorator.

satsuma ware Kozan (Zo) 光山造 - Made by Kozan in raised gilt directly onto the base within a bounding box.  Also marked 大日本 (Great Japan).  The Makuzu kiln, started by Miyagawa Kozan, in Yokohama produced some of the highest quality Satsuma and porcelain in Japan earning Kozan the revered title 帝室技芸員, Teishitsu Gigei-in, on June 30th 1896.  His son, Hanzan, succeeded him following his death in 1916 and the kiln and workshop were sadly destroyed by the allied bombing of Yokohama in 1945.
satsuma ware by kozan 光山 Kozan 光山 - Gilt script directly onto the base of a small jar, probably for cosmetics.  Kozan is a given name and popular at the period, it is likely there were many Satsuma decorators signing Kozan during the Meiji and Taisho periods.
about satsuma ware Kozan 湖山 - Mark direct onto base of a vase with Imperial blue enamel and chrysanthemums, Meiji period.  There are several marks reading Kozan from different makers during the Meiji to the Showa period, Kozan is a given name.  This form also literally translates as 'lake mountain' which is rather nice.
all about satsuma ware marks Kozan 古山 - Another form of writing Kozan, a popular name during the Meiji period.  It is likely all of the differing forms are separate decorators or kilns.  Meiji period from a jar with various scenics of people, Meiji period.
MADE IN OCCUPIED JAPAN SATSUMA KS within a shield.  Unidentified, possibly an agent or importers mark.  Made during the occupied period 1945-52.  Not strictly Satsuma as it is made from porcelain, but quite possibly made by one of the former Satsuma factories and in the dragon moriage style.  Click mark to see full item.
japanese satsuma ware by kusube

Kusube 楠部 poorly hand scripted mark on early 20th century moriage style vase c1910-20.  The style is very different from the fine quality Geisha decorated Satsuma pieces carrying the same name but with much more clearly written signatures.  Rim mark is likely a vertical dash followed by the number 19 (perhaps a batch code).

satsuma pottery Kusube 楠部 - poorly hand scripted mark on a porcelain figure decorated with moriage and extensive gilt.  Probably for Yaichi Kusube (son of Sennosuke).  Late Meiji c1900.
satsuma identification kusube Kusube 楠部 - gilt script over black lozenge from a ginger jar featuring a meeting or tea ceremony.  Late 19th century, Meiji period.
japanese satsuma pottery by kusube Kusube 楠部 - gilt script over red lozenge.  Mark from a vase with cobalt blue ground painted with Bijin and children in a landscape. Late 19th century, Meiji period
Japanese satsuma vase marks Kyokuzan 旭山 gilt script on red lozenge.  Mark from a pair of late 19th century Satsuma vases well painted with flowers and wisteria.  Image by kind permission of NA15.  Kyokuzan is a given rather than family name.

M

satsuma ware by maruni Maruni 丸二 - gilt script on black lozenge. Mark from a small vase with Rakan and dragon, late Meiji or Taisho.  Click the mark to see the full item.
 maruni satsuma vases mark Maruni 丸二 under the Shimazu family crest, gilt lettering on dark red ground. Mark from a pair of vases with scholars, late 19th century Meiji c1880.  Image by kind courtesy of Mr J McCombs
Satsuma ware history and information Maruni 丸二 under the Shimazu family crest, poorly hand scripted mark on a Taisho or early Showa period vase with immortals.  Maruni was known to be a merchant and many Satsuma items with their mark were likely made elsewhere under contract.
Purchase satsuma ware online - masanobu 政信 Masanobu 政信 - Gilt script directly onto base with a gosu blue Shimzau crest above.  Mark from a bowl with older style decoration with birds and gosu blue decoration, Edo period.  Also reads Satsuma-yaki on the right.  The red character mark will be the artists signature.
satsuma marks meiji period Meigyokuzan (ga) 明玉山 画 - Tentative naming based on current most common translation.  Mark in gilt under the Shimazu clan crest.  The final character in red likely a custom signature/logo.  Mark from a Meiji period vase painted with Buddhist precious objects and using 'imperial blue' enamel.
Satsuma ware showa period Minato Hikari (or Hikaru) 湊光 - Also marked with a trade name of Soko China.  From an early Showa period vase c1930. The term 'China' here is a misnomer as the vase is earthenware.
satsuma ware details and historical information - moriyama Moriyama (Seizan) 大日本 保土田造 盛山 - dai Nihon, Hododa zo, Moriyama - Mark from a Meiji period vase with a Samurai meeting.  In this case Hododa is the maker or merchant and Moriyama the artist.  Note there is disagreement over the reading of Moriyama, some interpret it as Seizan.  Seizan would appear to be a mix of the On and Kun reading which would seem unusual.
antique satsuma pottery Motodani 本谷 - gilt script on red cartouche under the Shimzu clan crest.  From a dish with wisteria and flowers.  Late Meiji or Taisho.  Note some sites have this mark referenced as Motoya which is an alternative form, however Bonhams & Christies reference it as Motodani.
satsuma antiques for sale Motosada Ga 元貞画 - painted by Motosada.  Name can also be read as Gentei.  Further marked on right 'Great Japan', and in the center 'Satsuma region'.  No current reference found for this painter under either reading of the name.  Mark from the base of a small box, Meiji period of average quality.

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satsuma ware antiques meiji period by nikko 日光 Nikko (sei) 日光 製  - Made by Nikko, from a small dish, late Meiji or Taisho period.  During the late 19th century there was also a producer signing as Nikko on porcelains painted in the Satsuma style - Yokohama-etsuke,(nishiki-gama).  It is likely this is a different maker.  The Nikko here may have been a retailer/exporter rather than a manufacturer.
satsuma ware from meiji period japan nikkozan Nikkozan 日光山 - Gilt printed script written in reverse under the Shimazu clan crest.  Mark from a vase with butterflies, Taisho period.
satsuma ware Nishida 西田造 (Nishi-ta zo) - made by Nishida.  Mark from a late Meiji period vase with Samurai warriors.

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 satsuma marks - omura Omura 大村 - Gilt script in red lozenge, from a Taisho period vase.  Naming tentative as can also read as Ōtsuki or Ooduke.  No references found so far to confirm naming convention.

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satsuma ware - unknown makers Roku Heizan 六平山 - Tentative naming as there do not appear to be any firm references to this mark or maker.  Mark from a bowl, Meiji period with Buddhist precious objects.
ryozan satsuma ware Ryozan (Okamoto) for Yasuda 亮山 之章 - Ryozan designed this (Ryo-zan no sho) - Red lozenge with the mark for Okamoto Ryozan.  Above is the logo for Yasuda and below is the Shimazu crest.  Okamoto Ryozan was one of the most famous makers producing work for the Yasuda trading company, late Meiji period.
Satsuma pottery information okamoto ryozan yasuda Ryozan (Okamoto) for Yasuda 亮山 - Gilt script directly onto vase base with Ryozan under the Yasuda logo.  Okamoto Ryozan in one of the highly prized Satsuma decorators and his work is always of a high standard.  This mark from a mini vase painted with a Hanami festival scene, click the image to see the complete vase.
ryozan satsuma ware Ryozan 亮山 造之 (Ryozan zo no) - Ryozan made this - below the Shimazu clan mark.  Mark from a Meiji period vase with floral designs.
satsuma pottery by ryuzan Ryuzan zo 龍山 (Ryuzan made) also marked 薩摩 (Satsuma).  From a plate with a Samurai procession, Meiji period.

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satsuma pottery for sale in the uk (Dai Nihon) Hododa Zo, Seizan 大日本 保土田造 盛山 - Mark from a Meiji period vase with a Samurai meeting. In this case Hododa is the maker or merchant and Seizan the artist. Note there is disagreement over the reading of Seizan, some interpret it as Moriyama. Seizan would appear to be a mix of the On and Kun reading which would seem unusual.
satsuma ware for sale by Senzan Senzan 泉山 - Gold script over a pale red lozenge under the Shimazu crest.  This maker is relatively unknown and not often seen, so likely produced limited quantities.  Senzan is a family name and the characters individually read as Spring Mountain.  Senzan is the On reading.  Mark from a vase with Bijin at a lake, late Meiji/Taisho, click the mark to see the full item.
satsuma marks - senzan 泉山 Senzan 泉山 - Stylised character form of Senzan in gold over a black lozenge.  Mark from a Meiji period kogo with wisteria.  The mark is sometimes referenced as Izumiyama or Izuyama in the Kun reading, although most Satsuma potters used the Chinese On form at this period.
satsuma ware pottery by shinzan Shinzan 新山 (Shin-zan) - Red painted script directly onto the base of the vase.  Shimazu crest above the name.  Mark from a vase painted with large Samurai figures over a black ground.  Late Meiji or Taisho period
all about japanese satsuma ware - Shinzan Shinzan 新山 - Red script directly onto base of vase.  Mark from a large vase painted with Rakan and with moriage detail.  Inter-war period Taisho or early Showa.  Images by kind permission of Shwikman, click the mark image to see the entire item.
Shizan satsuma ware Shizan - 志山 - Gilt script on black cartouche under the Shimazu clan crest.  Very likely a different manufacturer from the other known Shizan marks (市山, 芝山 & 司山).  Mark from a set of cups and saucers late Meiji or early Taisho.  Clik image to see full item.
satsuma ware by shizan Shizan 司山 (Shi-zan) - Black lozenge with gold script.  Mark from a vase with bijin in landscape.  Meiji period c1890.
satsuma ware for sale by shizan or shibayama Shizan (or Shibayama) 芝山 - Gilt script on black lozenge.  Unreferenced maker or decorator, most likely reading as Shizan in the Kun form but can also be read as Shibayama.  There are a number of different Shizan potters which appear to be unrelated.  Mark from a Bowl with landscape late Meiji, click the mark to see the full image.
Satsuma ware for sale with script marks Shou 陳 - Single character mark on large Kyoto style late Meiji vase.  The character has many readings including 'Chen' from the ancient Chinese and names including Kuwaotsuku, Jin, Tan, Chien, Tsun and Noburu.  I have tentatively selected Shou as perhaps the most likely in this case.  I have been unable to reference other pieces with this mark.
satsuma database shozan 正山 Shozan 正山 - Gilt script on black lozenge, from a Meiji period vase.  Many ways of writing Shozan exist and it is a common name.  Numerous forms are found on Satsuma ware, there were likely numerous Shozan's making and decorating during the Meiji period onwards.
satsuma ware - antique japanese pottery by shozan 祥山 Shozan 祥山 - One of the numerous forms of Shozan, this version suspected of being from a kiln in Tajimi, in the prefecture of Gifu.  Mark from a bowl painted with chrysanthemum and millefiore, late Meiji period.
satsuma ware from kyoto Shuzan 秀山 - Gold script on red backing, late Meiji/Taisho period bowl.  Also reads 京都 (Kyoto) on the left and 大日 (Japan) on the right.
satsuma vase marks Shuzan (for Yasuda) 秀山 - in red lozenge to the left of the Yasuda logo.  Mark seen on items usually of a good or very good standard.
soko china satsuma ware Soko China - Trade name or Westernised business name on an early Showa period vase (inter -war).  Also reads 湊光 Minato Hikari (or Hikaru).  The term 'China' here is a misnomer as the vase is earthenware.
satsuma from the meiji period information and sales - sozan Sozan 宗山 - Highly stylised mark, subject to revision but thought to be Sozan for Yasuda.  Mark is preceded by 画 (ga - painted).  The general ordering is unusual with the Shimazu crest underneath and ga preceding instead of following the name, the Yasuda logo sits above the main lozenge.  The mark from a lidded box, late Meiji period.
inter war vintage satsuma ware S.S.C - Unknown maker, from a low quality Satsuma moriage tea service, inter-war or early post war period.  It is considered that such marks may had been Western exporters or retailers marks (ie branded wares).

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satsuma pottery by taizan yohei Taizan (sei) - 帯山製 - Made by Taizan, the mark for Taizan Yohei IX.  A renowned and award winning artist often working in the kacho-ga style as here.  Note the impressed mark denoting this came from his own kiln prior to its closure after which he decorated blanks from other kilns.  Also marked 'Great Japan' on the right.  Meiji period, 19th century.  Click mark to see full item.
satsuma trading companies takeda Takeda (zo) 武田 (造) - Possibly Takeda Brothers, a trading company in Tientsin, China.  They imported decorative items from Kyoto including Satsuma pottery.  Generally high quality items, this mark from a vase decorated with a millefiori style design which is carried on to the base as seen here.  Taisho or early Showa period.
Taniguchi 谷口 hand scripted in black panel.  Early 20th century, Meiji period. The name also translates as 'mouth of the valley'
satsuma ware for sale by tokozan Tokozan ⊕ 東光山 造 Tokozan zo (made by Tokozan) under the Shimazu clan crest.  Mark from a small box with images of family life, late 19th century, Meiji.
satsuma ware mark tomoyama Tomoyama 友山  hand scripted gold over a red panel.  Late 19th century Meiji period image from a nut dish. The name can also be translated as Tomozan.  Image by kind courtesy of M.Traub.
satsuma ware for sale in the UK - toseizan Toseizan 東正山 - Tentative translation, may also be Higashi Shōzan.  No original references exist that I can find to date.  Marks on the right are numerals 五 (2 10 5), mark from an early Showa period vase with moulded raised figures of warriors.
satsuma antiques from japan, tozan from kyoto Tozan (zo) 都山 (造) - On the left reading top to bottom Tozan made.  On the right 京錦 光 Kyoto Kinko (light).  Mark from a high quality Koro, Meiji period.
handpainted satsuma antiques Tsunenobu (ga)  恒信 (画) - Painted by Tsunenobu.  Also reads on the right column Satsuma Kuni, and Dai Nihon right to left across the top.  There is some dispute over the naming, some sources suggesting it is Hisashishin.  Bonhams catalogue it as Tsunenobu.  The name can also be translated as Hisanobu.  At present I have not found any documentation for confirmation.

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 Satsuma ware for sale by uchida Uchida 内田 - Hand scripted mark on a trio painted with birds and flowers, late 19th century Meiji period.  Uchida were a merchant as well as a manufacturer and likely branded Satsuma ware made by other factories alongside their own production.  They were based in Kobe, Japan.

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warren imports satsuma ware Warren Imports - Paper label for the famous importer of Asian art based in Laguna Beach, Palm Springs.  The business was started by Harry J. Lawrence in 1937.  This label on a cup and saucer by Genzan which predates the opening of Warren Imports.  Sticker likely mid 20th century.

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early japanese satsuma ware identification yamaki 山岐 Yamaki 山岐 - Gilt script on red lozenge under the Shimazu crest.  Apparently an unidentified maker, I am unable to find records for this maker at present.  Mark from a vase with domestic scene of women with a child, high quality, Meiji period.
Satsuma pottery - Yamashiro Yamashiro 山白 - Gilt script over a red lozenge.  Most likely reading is Yamashiro, a family name, written beneath the Shimazu clan crest.  This maker or decorator currently appears un-referenced.  From a late Meiji or Taisho vase with wisteria and Bijin.
yasuda satsuma pottery Yasuda Logo - followed by the mark for Okamoto Ryozan (see Ryozan above).  The 'Yasuda Kyoto Tojiki Goshikaisha' was a trading company that procured many different items for export to the West including Satsuma pottery.  It was formed in 1896 giving an earliest date for items with this mark.  Yasuda contracted some of the most famous Satsuma makers to produce items for them earning a reputation for quality.
yasuda satsuma vase Yasuda zo 安田造 - Hand scripted to the side of the vase.  Kyoto style with large characters, late Meiji.  The mark probably for Yasuda Gensei prior to the founding of the Kyoto Tojiki Goshi Kaisha in 1896.  The vase is also partially marked to the inside base.  Click image to see the whole vase.
Satsuma for sale by Yasui Yasui 安井 - also marked 造 Satsuma (abbreviated) zo (created) under the Shimazu crest.  Hand scripted in gilt on a red lozenge, mark from a late Meiji/Taisho period vase with Samurai warriors.
imperial satsuma ware Yoshinobu 吉信 Painted in raised gold directly onto the base with gosu enamel Shimazu crest above.  The gosu blue was a dark opaque blue enamel used on high quality wares from the early to mid Meiji period with items using this decorative enamel often referred to as 'Imperial Satsuma'.
antique satsuma ware by Yuzan Yuzan 由山 - Gilt script on red lozenge, some sites specify it as the Kun reading (Yoshiyama) however the major auction houses list it as Yuzan, the On reading more associated with Satsuma.  Mark from a finely detailed plate, Meiji period, click mark to see the full item.
antique satsuma pottery yuzan Youzan 由山 - Gilt script on black lozenge under the Shimazu clan crest.  Mark from a mid range vase with trees having fine gilt detail.  Probably late Meiji.
satsuma vases - yuzan 由山 Yuzan (zo) 由山造 - Script directly onto base of a Meiji period vase.  Also reads on the right 'dai Nihon' (great Japan). In the center 'Satsuma yaki' (Satsuma ware).  All under the Shimazu crest at the center top.
Yuzan satsuma ware Yuzan 祐山 - Tentative attribution, the mark appears to read Yuzan under the Shimazu crest, although it is not the known Yuzan maker.  The known Yuzan is (由山) but I cannot reference a Satsuma maker using this alternate form.  From a tea service, late Meiji or Taisho - click the mark to see the full item.  Images by kind permission of Bingamum
satsuma ware for sale - Yuzan 有山 Yuzan 有山 - Gilt script on red lozenge.  Yuzan can be written in numerous forms and appears to be a popular name at the time, it is likely there were many different artists signing Yuzan.  This mark from a Taisho period dragon moriage vase with Samurai warriors.  Can also be translated as Ariyama in the Kun form.

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satsuma ceramics information and identification, zenkozan Zenkozan 善光山 - Gilt script onto black lozenge.  Mark from a matt black ground dish with a gilt scenic of Mount Fuji, Taisho period.
the satsuma database, information about japanese satsuma pottery Zenkozan 善光山 - Gilt script onto black lozenge. The mark is poorly formatted making it difficult to distinguish.  Mark from a kogo with dance or theatre scene, late Meiji.  Click mark to see full item, images by kind permission of J Brassey.

 

Reproduction and Fake Marks

hand painted satsuma Hand Painted Satsuma - printed mark in red with manufactured crackle to the glaze.  From a Satsuma style vase, probably from the Royal Satsuma Company in China.  Later 20th century period.  Not genuine Satsuma but also not intended as a forgery, just a decorative item in the style of Satsuma.
chinese style satsuma 中国制造 - Made in China (Zhōngguó zhìzào).  Satsuma style small fish bowl, clearly not intended as a fake.  Older style of writing Made in China, the item likely 3rd quarter of the 20th century.  Click image of mark to see the entire item.
chinese style satsuma temple jar 手工製作 - 中国制造  (Shǒugōng zhìzuò - Zhōngguó zhìzào) Hand crafted and Made in China, the latter being an old form of writing this.  From a large temple jar in the Satsuma style, made before such items started making claim to be Satsuma.  Probably 3rd quarter 20th century.  Click the mark to see the item in full.
Satsuma made in china Satsuma - Blue printed mark and moulded A on a Chinese vase loosely in the Satsuma style.  Very recent, 21st century.  Genuine Satsuma ware is only made in Japan.
chinese pseudo satsuma ware 制嶺特注 - Special Note (Chinese) - Custom Order (Japanese).  Mark on a porcelain vase painted in the Satsuma style.  Probably Chinese made, 1980's period.  Intended for export decorative market, not meant as a deceptive fake.
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