[Bone China]

It is only recently that I learned that "bone" in "bone china," a beautiful white porcelain born in England, means "bone," not "born."

Bone china was invented in London around the 18th century. As symbolized by the English word "china" meaning "porcelain," China, the world's pioneer in the production of porcelain, led the world of ceramics at that time. Chinese porcelain was exported to Europe in large quantities, and the royalty and aristocracy of various countries began to produce white porcelain vessels, admiring the whiteness of Chinese porcelain. In Europe, including Germany and France, the discovery of kaolin, the raw material for whiteness, led to the successful production of porcelain in 1710. However, since kaolin was not available in England, a technique was developed in 1812 to express a beautiful white color by mixing cow bone ash instead. This porcelain made from cattle bone ash was named bone china to distinguish it from common porcelain.

The amount of cattle bone ash contained in bone china is standardized in each country: 30% in Japan, 35% in England, and 25% in the United States. Nikko, which is handled in our store, started production of fine bone china in 1978. The reason for the whiteness, which is one of the characteristics of Nikko's bone china, is the content of bone ash, which has been increased to about 50%. Nikko successfully achieved, after much research, what was usually considered difficult to mold beyond 50%, and produced bone china of a pure white color that is considered the best in the world.

Founded in Kanazawa City in 1908 as Japan Ironstone Inc., Nikko's bone china is known as a favorite of top chefs around the world, as the company's integrated production is carried out at its own factory in Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture. One of the reasons for this is its "whiteness," as mentioned earlier, as well as its "thinness. It is so thin that you can see through it when you hold it up to the light, and because of this, it is light, yet strong enough to withstand commercial use. In fact, I have often seen cups and saucers with willow trees and birds painted in dark blue on a white background every time I visit various coffee shops in Kyoto, such as Rokuyosha. I had been wondering where it came from, and recently learned that it is also Nikko's "Sansui" series of bone china. In addition to its delicate patterns, its lightness and strength may be the reason why it is widely used in coffee shops.

We sell Nikko's "Sori Yanagi Bone China Pot" and "Sori Yanagi Bone China Creamer." Designed around 1952, the "Matsumura Ironstone China N Series" was widely distributed in the flourishing postwar Good Design movement and became Sori Yanagi's representative work in the early 1980s. Although it had already been discontinued in the 1950s, Nikko reissued it in 1990, using a different material, bone china, which has a beautiful transparency. This attractive product, which combines bone china and Sori Yanagi's design, is currently on display at the Sanjo Showroom, so please take a look for yourself.

Nikko's Sori Yanagi Bone China
Story of Nikko Fine Bone China
Rokuyosha Coffee Shop
Sanjo Showroom