Chicago Antiques Guide

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Pair of Occupied Japan Vases

Posted Monday, October 31 by CAG

We received this anonymous inquiry, "I have two small vases, about 5 inches high. Each one has a Japanese figure and other designs. On the bottom is written "Made in Occupied Japan." Can you tell me anything about these and if they have any value? I would appreciate any information you have. Thank you."

After World War II ended, American forces "occupied" the country of Japan for both military security and economic recovery reasons. One of the most prevalent items being produced was a huge array of cheap porcelain and ceramic items made specifically for export, primarily to the US. These items were marked "Made in Occupied Japan". All items imported to this country are marked with their country of origin. The "MIOJ" mark was used from 1945 to 1952. To get an idea of the variety of items made, just search on Occupied Japan Vases on Ebay. Or better still remove the word vases and search again.

As I stated, the vast majority of these items are very cheaply made. A pair of vases like yours would probably sell for $20-$25. Although without a picture, it is hard to be certain.

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