Replacements, Ltd. - Nikko China History

View Nikko Patterns

The late 1800's brought sweeping political changes to the nation of Japan. The feudalism that had marked Japan's history for centuries was giving way to imperialism. Feudal lords found their land being gradually dispersed to the farm families that had cultivated it for generations. The changes were undoubtedly difficult but necessary in the evolution of Japan to a world economic leader. Many of the former lords, seeing their formal feudal estates shrink to a fraction of their former size, banded together in business partnerships. One such venture involved Lord Maeda and associates. In the city of Kanazawa, they formed Koshitsu Toki Co, Ltd. Organized in 1905, its initial operations consisted of the manufacture of semi-porcelain dinnerware - the first attempt to make this product by a Japanese company. Great strides were made in manufacturing processes, and within a few short years, growth became exponential.

The opening of a new factory in 1917 in Pusan, Korea created great hope for the future for the Koshitsu Toki Company. Just when the company seemed poised to capitalize on an era of globalization, Japan announced to its citizens that it had declared war on the United States and its allies. The onset of World War II required a shifting of manufacturing capacity on the part of Koshitsu Toki to meet governmental need for armaments. Everything from semi-porcelain to metal lampposts was produced for the Japanese army. The war had a devastating effect on Japan’s economy, and after it was over, the country was forced to rebuild itself. Koshitsu Toki suffered damage to one of its mainland factories and lost its Korean factory altogether when Japan was forced to leave Korea. Faced with these challenges, the company created a reorganization plan and ultimately became even stronger than before.

Koshitsu Toki really hit its stride in the mid-sixties. A strategy of global growth made the "casual chic" that the company had become known for available all over the world. In an effort to become a bigger player in the tableware industry, the company moved its headquarters and factories to Ishikawa, Japan. Using updated processes and modernized equipment, many different tableware lines were introduced. No longer solely dependent upon semi-porcelain, the company produced a range of tableware including fine bone china, fine vitrified china, fine porcelain, and ovenware. In the latter part of the 1980's, decorative tiles and hotel wares were added to the product mix.

The name Koshitsu Toki Company was dropped in 1983 in favor of Nikko Company, a more "recognizable" name. An ever-evolving company, Nikko now produces Electro-ceramics and housing and environmental equipment in addition to a broad line of dinnerware. Nikko continues to work to improve its product lines and reach, making its brand synonymous with global excellence.