Maruei Takeo Shoten is our first partner in the tea ware industry, and our contact point to some 40 bankoyaki pottery artisans in the Yokkaichi region, a traditional production region one hour from the city of Nagoya. The Takeo Family has been operating this wholesale tea ware business since the 1940s, with father Sakae-san starting the business after returning from Soviet prison camps after World War II. He began humbly, building relationships with potters and artisans, and helping them to sell their ware first in the area around Yokkaichi, then traveling nationwide to build a network of customers.
We work closely with son and successor to the Maruei Takeo Shoten business, Susumu Takeo (the only person in the entire company who uses email, though he prefers to use phone and fax). We love his passion for tea ware of all types, and hope to one day list his entire 1500+ item catalog.