Rosanjin Kitaoji’s encounter with Kutani ware
Rosanji Rosanji was recognized by Hosono Yendai (antique dealer, tea master, and calligrapher) in Kanazawa in 1915, and he was introduced to Jiro Yoshino (Yoshinoya Ryokan, now the site of Rosanji's fief, “Irohazouan”), Seika Suda (the founder), and Takichi Ota (Japanese traditional restaurant “Yamanoo”) at a tea party held by the Hosono family, and he was asked to carve signboards for shops. Even today, some of the signs carved by Rosanjin can be seen at some of the hotels in Yamashiro Onsen.
Rosanjin's talent bloomed after he learned pottery at Suda's studio where he left behind many works of art.
The origins of Kutani Bitoen and the relationship between Teramae’s and Rosanjin Kitaoji
This was around the same time in 1914 (Taisho 3) that Tamekichi Teramae started Teramae Merchant (later to become Kutani Bitoen). Tamekichi's father, Zenkichi（善吉） Teramae, sold miso and soy sauce in front of Senkoji Temple in Yamashiro Onsen, and he and his brother, Uyomon Kitade, were adopted by the Teramae family and the Kitade family respectively from the Taniguchi family in Sakaedani（栄谷）, Kaga City. The Kitade family produced Tojiro and Fujio, who became potters. The Teramae family adopted Eiichi from the Yamagishi family in Terai (produced by Masaaki Yamagishi, Yuzo and Taisei) and had his eldest son, Tameichi, pursue the kutani art. Eiichi and Miyo opened a branch office in Shibuya's Dogenzaka district, but the Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed the store and they made a fresh start as a manufacturer of Kutani ware fabric merchant in Yamashiro.
Collaboration with Masaaki Hirano, the last disciple of Rosanjin Kitaoji
Eiichi's eldest son Hideo worked in Tokyo, but he took over the business at the age of 58 when Eiichi became too old to continue the Kutani Bitoen. In collaboration with Masaaki Hirano, known as Rosanjin's last disciple, Kutani Bitoen developed the Rosanjin copy series, which became greatly popular. Mr. Masaaki Hirano served as a judge for a hugely popular TV show called the “Iron Chef competition”, and Mr. Dojo Rokuzaburo, who was active in this TV program, was also from Yamanaka Onsen and used Kutani Bitoen's pottery.