Hello, pottery enthusiasts and history buffs! Today, we’re diving into the company of PY Miyao Craze: Japan’s Best Novelty Ceramics in America, an iconic ceramics company that captured the hearts of Americans in the post-World War II era.
From whimsical figurines to elegant tableware, PY Miyao’s novelty ceramics have become highly sought-after collector’s items. Join us as we explore the company’s history, its introduction to American audiences, and the lasting impact of its unique designs.
The Birth of PY Miyao Japan Pottery
Established in the early 20th century, the PY Miyao Japan pottery company has its roots in the Aichi Prefecture, home to many renowned Japanese pottery centers. The company was named after its founder, Miyao Yoshida, whose initials PY stood for “Pottery Yoshida.” Miyao’s goal was to bring the artistry and craftsmanship of Japanese ceramics to a broader audience, both in Japan and abroad.
Post-War Expansion and Introduction to America
Following World War II, the United States and Japan began rebuilding their economic ties, and the export of Japanese goods to the US played a significant role in this process. PY Miyao, with its vast array of novelty ceramics, was poised to take advantage of this opportunity. Their unique and whimsical designs caught the attention of American consumers, and soon, PY Miyao ceramics began gracing the shelves of gift shops and department stores across the United States.
The Charm of PY Miyao Novelty Ceramics
What set PY Miyao’s novelty ceramics apart from other pottery at the time was their distinctive designs, characterized by intricate details, vivid colors, and an unmistakable touch of whimsy. From playful animal figurines to ornate tea sets, the company’s offerings covered a broad range of styles and purposes.
Some of the most popular PY Miyao items among American collectors include the “Anthropomorphic Fruit” collection, which showcased various fruits with endearing human features from cookie jars, salt and pepper shakers, to plates, teapots, jam and jelly jars and wall pockets in the form of lemons, strawberries, pears, apples, corn, celery, avocado’s and more. Today, these anthropomorphic fruit and vegetables are highly sought after and collectible.
Preserving Tradition with Modern Appeal
As the company grew, PY Miyao remained committed to preserving the rich traditions of Japanese pottery-making, while also embracing modern techniques and materials. By combining age-old craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics, the company was able to create a unique line of novelty ceramics that appealed to both traditionalists and those seeking something fresh and innovative.
The Lasting Impact of PY Miyao
Although the PY Miyao company is no longer in operation, its legacy lives on in the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts who cherish their unique, high-quality ceramics. With their blend of Japanese artistry, whimsical design, and post-war historical significance, PY Miyao’s novelty ceramics continue to captivate audiences around the world.
The story of PY Miyao Japan pottery is a testament to the power of creativity, resilience, and cultural exchange. By introducing American consumers to their delightful novelty ceramics, the company not only contributed to the rebuilding of post-war Japan, but also helped forge lasting connections between two very different cultures.
Today, the enchanting charm of PY Miyao’s ceramics lives on, providing a window into a fascinating chapter of history and a reminder of the beauty that can arise when art and tradition meet innovation.
The Best book on the PY company that is also filled with invaluable photos of these precious and adorable ceramics is: Py Miyao Fun Kitchen Collectibles: Reference & Value Guide by Belinda Evans
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*Please note that if you purchase from clicking on one of the links, I will get a tiny bit of that sale to help keep this blog going.
Photos from my personal collection and Pinterest.