Arita porcelain is mainly known in Europe as 'Imari', because this is the port from which, historically, this porcelain was exported to Europe by Dutch merchants. But it is in the small town of Arita, in the prefecture of Saga in northern Kyushu, that these porcelains have been made since the early 17th century. That's 1616 to be exact, a turning point in the history of this product, as it marked the end of the Chinese monopoly on the use of kaolin to produce fine porcelain. Japan took up production, exporting until 1757. During the Edo period, the government regulated the export of these products, and they became less available abroad, focusing distribution more on Japanese territory. During the 19th century, exports resumed thanks to Arita porcelain, which was exhibited at international fairs and exhibitions, once again contributing to its worldwide reputation. Many houses (Kamamoto) and artists produced Arita porcelain. Some of them are recognised as "living human treasures" in Japan.