从十五世纪中期开始，随着茶道流行，人们开始注重茶具的美学。日本开始从相邻的中国进口陶瓷，而这些陶瓷就如今日的伊万里瓷器和古董伊万里瓷器一般，被珍视为艺术品。需求量刺激了生产创造力，在安土桃山时代（约1573 – 1603年）建立了成百上千的窑口，各个地区逐渐发展出了独特的风格。
Further information on 伊万里
Japanese Imari plates and all forms of Imari porcelain took design cues from textile manufacturers and included beautifully exotic landscapes, trees and flowers, elegant long-winged birds and courtesans in their stunning kimonos, a marked difference from the early Imari ware, known as ‘shoki imari’ manufactured before around 1650.
Early Imari ware was usually small and very sparsely decorated, painted with a blue underglaze and bought and sold exclusively within the domestic market.
From shoko imari came ko-kutani, a more mature style of Imari porcelain that added vivid greens, purples, blues, reds and yellows. That developed into the kakiemon style of Imari ware and Japanese Imari plates characterised by beautifully intricate detail and eventually by gold enamel.
After 214 years of sakoku (the Tokugawa shogunate’s policy of isolation), the Japanese began exporting Imari porcelain to western markets in the nineteenth century. The craftsmen revived the older style of Imari ware and Japanese Imari plates although the quality wasn’t as high as that of the Japanese porcelain that had come before. That said, some mid to late nineteenth century Imari ware, particularly the elegant vases from the Fukagawa factory have become highly sought after Japanese Imari china and commands high prices at auction.