The Japanese potter Sakaida Kakiemon is best known for the creation of enamel decoration on porcelain in the mid 17th century. Kakiemon (1596-1666) is said to have studied the art under a Chinese artisan that fled China after the fall of the Ming Dynasty.

Notably, porcelain in China has been prevalent for hundreds of years and perfected during the Ming Dynasty.

The Japanese potter Sakaida Kakiemon (酒井田柿右衛門, 1596–1666) is popularly credited with being one of the first in Japan to discover the secret of enamel decoration on porcelain, known as ‘akae’. The name “Kakiemon” was bestowed upon Sakaida by his lord, after he perfected a design of twin persimmons (kaki), developing as well the distinctive palette of soft red, yellow, blue and turquoise green now associated with the Kakiemon style.

Sakaida Kakiemon started his porcelain business following the fall of the Ming dynasty in China and the succeeding disruption of traditional Chinese porcelain exports to Europe. Sakaida Kakiemon is said to have learned the enamel porcelain technique from a Chinese artisan in Nagasaki in 1643.

The hexagonal Kamiemon vases and covers known as “Hampton Court” vases were named after a pair at Hampton Court Palace, London, recorded in an inventory of 1696. Around 1730, this shape was copied at Meissen, Germany, which entered into a “sister city” contract with Arita, in 1979. The style was also adopted and copied in Chelsea and Worcester in the 1750s and by Samson Ceramics in the 19th century.

Kakiemon style was also adapted in Germany and Austria by the Du Paquier and “Vienna factories” and in France at Chantilly, Mennecy and Saint-Cloud. Kakiemon was also an influence on Dutch Delft pottery and Chinese export porcelain.