KOGEI & Me

Shozo Yamaguchi

山口 省三

I am the happiest when I hear, “I found exactly what I was looking for!”

Mr. Shozo Yamaguchi was born in Kyoto. In 1998, he joined KUMAGAI Co., Ltd., a company specializing in Kyoto ware as he wished to do work which is related to Kyoto, his hometown. Being a salesperson, he has developed new sales channels for this company. The most memorable event happened during his second year with the company when he was involved with the product development project of chopstick rest. In response to requests from the owner of a chopsticks shop, he produced new items through working in partnership with a pottery manufacturer. This experience gave him a sense of accomplishment and motivated him to create a number of original chopstick rests later on. Good responses from consumers who picked up the products of KUMAGAI at the store make him the happiest. “I am very pleased to hear voices of consumer saying- I found exactly what I was looking for!”. I think this is a challenging job because our product planning pursues tiny variation in items which meet each of our customer’s satisfaction”, says Mr. Yamaguchi. Chopstick rest is a good first step to start enjoying a sense of the season at home for beginners of Kyoto ware. The world of Kyoto ware that Mr. Yamaguchi brings is open to everyone from children to adults.

「探しものが見つかった」という声が喜び

京都出身の山口省三さん。出身地の京都に関わる仕事がしたいという想いで、1998年に京焼を専門とする熊谷聡商店に入社し、営業担当として同社の販路を切り拓いてきた。これまでの勤務経験のなかで最も印象深い出来事は、入社2年目で取り組んだ、箸置きの商品開発だ。得意先の店主から相談を受け、要望を聞き取りながら、窯元と連携して新商品を制作。その達成感が契機となり、その後も数々のオリジナル箸置きを生み出した。仕事をしていて、一番嬉しいのは、店頭で商品を手に取ったお客様から良い反応を得たとき。「探していたものが見つかりました!と言っていただけることがすごく嬉しい。痒い所に手が届く商品づくりにやりがいを感じます」。家庭で手軽に季節感を味わえる箸置きは、京焼を楽しむ第一歩。山口さんが伝える京焼の世界は、子どもから大人まで全ての人に開かれている。

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