History of Noritake
During the late 19th century the previously closed society of Japan opened its doors to international trade. Baron Ichizaemon Morimura, an important representative of Japanese commerce during that era, recognized the potential for exports to the United States. In 1876 he established Morimura-kumi to ship china and other gift items to America, distributed through a wholesale and retail store in New York. Baron Morimura soon realized that the American market was ripe for fine china dinnerware manufactured in Japan. In order to ensure that his exports were of the highest quality, however, he decided to control production by building his own factory. To that end, he founded a new company called Nippon Toki Gomei Kaisha in the village of Noritake, near Nagoya, on January 1, 1904.
Since then, Noritake has steadily built its reputation as the world's premier manufacturer of tabletop products. From the very beginning, the china took the name of the town where the factory was built, and became so popular that the company officially changed its name to Noritake Company Limited in 1981. Throughout its history Noritake has developed tools and machinery designed to improve china manufacturing technology. Many of these are now marketed by separate Noritake divisions. Grinding wheels were first manufactured in-house for polishing china. Since 1939, however, they have been marketed for industrial uses and today realize greater worldwide sales than Noritake china. Similarly, industrial ceramics, electronic components and even the unique roller hearth kiln, created by Noritake to make china production more effcient, have become important segments of the company's international business.
Today, Noritake continues to pursue new markets and new industries through exhaustive research and development. Indeed, the pioneering spirit of Baron Morimura lives on in the creative ideas and dedicated commitment to excellence that have grown from the tiny village of Noritake to touch the lives and careers of millions throughout the world.