Hirotsugu's family runs a pottery called Shinzan Kama, which makes earthenware known as Tadaro ware. Tadaro ware is one of several kinds of ceramics known collectively as Ko-Karatsu ware. A pottery may be said to be a studio and a factory, and Hirotsugu's parents - Tadatoshi and Nanae - produce ceramics here every day. Tadatoshi is the fourth-generation master of Shinzan Kama. "Today, there are fewer children who are willing to succeed their parents' potteries," says Tadatoshi. "At the Arita College of Ceramics, too, only about three of the students are from families that run potteries. The others are all from ordinary families." He was very happy to learn that his son wanted to follow in his footsteps, he admits.
Now that Hirotsugu has graduated from the college, he is now helping with the family business. He's searching for another pottery where he can train as an apprentice. "First he needs to get some training outside," explains his mother, Nanae. "Studying with a teacher should make a difference in his attitude toward work. It's no use training at home, where he's bound to get lax, including about giving proper greetings." Hirotsugu hopes to train at a pottery of Bizen ware, a specialty of Okayama Prefecture.
Hirotsugu has two older sisters. His oldest sister, Mayu, works at the city office and doesn't do pottery. His other sister, Nana, is studying design in New York.