What does the Occupied Japan marking mean?


Quick Answer

The mark "Occupied Japan" or "Made in Occupied Japan" shows products made in Japan from 1945 to 1952 to identify the origin as Japan under Douglas MacArthur's U.S. post-World War II occupation. From 1945 though 1947, the mark was required by law, and it was optional from 1947 to 1952.

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Full Answer

Because of the limited number of years in which the Occupied Japan products were made, a collectible market exists for these items. As time passes, the items become more valued. There is even a specialized collectible organization for Occupied Japan products, the Occupied Japan Club.

Another aspect that adds to the relative scarcity of Occupied Japan items is that they were only produced for export through two contractors. The Commodity Credit Corporation handled textiles, with the United States Commercial Company importing all other goods. Items sold within Japan did not use the mark.

Because the products were for export, as a way to help the Japanese economy recover after the war, porcelain figurines and toys reflect Western, rather than traditional Japanese, tastes. Dishes and household goods are more common, and thus less valuable for collectors, than the figurines and toys.

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