Wednesday Weekly Etsy Shop Feature
Featuring Vintage Finds Made in Japan
Though young people today most often turn over a purchase to find a foil sticker that says Made in China, many of us still recall a time when many if not most of the items we purchased that were not manufactured in this country were marked Made in Taiwan, Made in Korea, or most commonly Made in Japan. The Far East has long been an important and integral part of World Trade—from the Silk Roads, trade routes connecting the East to Western customers who coveted the luxury goods made in the Orient, to the Spice Routes that carried exotic herbs and spices the rest of the world hungered for across oceans, to the brisk trade in cheap manufactured goods, textiles and technology still maintained between East and West today.
Japan and the United States have been almost constant trading partners since the 1850s when U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry led an expedition to Japan and demanded a trade agreement. The Tariff Treaty of 1866 allowed American merchants to deal directly with the Japanese. With the exception of a downturn in trade during the Great Depression, imports of Japanese goods rose steadily until World War II. Our government froze all Japanese assets in America and launched an oil embargo after July, 1941, to protest Japan’s aggressive stance in China and Indochina. All trade was halted when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. When trade was resumed after the War, it helped the floundering nation start on the road to economic recovery.
While trade with Japan continues to be a major economic factor, the type of goods imported has changed significantly. Automobiles, electronics and technology account for much of the exchange today.
For the vintage merchant, Made in Japan offers all sorts of amazing options. The excitement of finding an item marked Nippon is justified. If the item is authentic, this dates it back to the early 1900s. After 1921, Japanese exporters were required to label goods Japan. Items manufactured in the late 1940s, after postwar trade resumption, may be marked Made in Occupied Japan, though this was not always the case. However, Occupied Japan goods are very collectible. It is a fascinating subject, and the range of goods precludes going into more detail here. I have been lucky enough to acquire a number of Japanese made items, ranging from manufacture in the late 1940s through the 1980s.
I am featuring my Made in Japan stock in this week’s LimeLight. In weeks to come I will be listing several more vintage items from Japan, including a few pieces of china marked Nippon. For now, here is O Deer Mercantile’s current selection…
Thanks for stopping by to get a preview of the Made in Japan items currently listed. If you want more detail or information, just hop over to O Deer Mercantile and type Japan into the shop Search Bar. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s feature. Until next time…