Copyright 2010 – -Kimberly Clay
Occupied Japan collectibles are not only an important part of World history, they’re cute and affordable – not to mention fun to collect. After World War II, Japan was held under occupation of the United States. They were forced to mark their exported wares with “Made in Occupied Japan” or “Occupied Japan” during this time period, which dated from 1945 through 1952.
While most of the exports during this time were decorative bisque and porcelain, the mark can be found on other exported wares as well. Occupied Japan collectors, sometimes abbreviated to OJ collectors, normally focus on a more specific area to really hone in on the best for their collections.
Occupied Japan Figurines
Many Occupied Japan collections focus solely on the bisque and porcelain figurines that were heavily imported during this time period. While some were very crudely modeled after the delicate German Dresden porcelain figurines of the early 20th Century, others were quite nicely decorated.
Occupied Japan figurines are still affordable and not too difficult to find. Smaller figurines can cost under $10, while the larger, better made examples are worth from $25 – $250. Look for finely decorated figures with no condition issues and those that are clearly marked “Occupied Japan”.
Occupied Japan Dishes
Many dishes were imported during this time, and collectors normally focus on the more decorative and whimsical pieces, rather than sets of dishes. Ashtrays, cup and saucer sets, ewers and vases are popular with Occupied Japan collectors. Again, look for well decorated pieces in good condition. They can often be found for under $45.
Occupied Japan Toby Jugs
Toby jugs are small jugs or pitchers that are normally in the form of a seated person. Toby jugs were quite popular in England in the early 20th Century. Occupied Japan Toby jugs are modeled after their English counterparts and range in size from miniature ½ inch examples to large 8 inch examples. Prices range from $5 to $100, so they can still be an affordable Occupied Japan collectible.
Occupied Japan pieces are affordable and fun to collect. They make sweet displays and are still fairly easy to find, although it seems to be getting more difficult to find pieces in perfect condition with no flaws. If you’re considering investing in Occupied Japan collectibles, buy the best you can afford once you learn the basics of collecting. The finer Occupied Japan pieces that are more rare and difficult to find are the pieces that will go up in value as they become more scarce.