Hotta Katsutaro Shoten Co., Ltd. Green Tea Wholesaler in Uji, Kyoto

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During the Edo Period (1603-1868), Hotta Kisaburo - the founder of our business - began facilitating Kyoto Uji Tea transactions between tea growers and long-established wholesalers. Among the hundreds of such tea leaf brokers, called tombi, Hotta Kisaburo was a pioneer and an unrivaled expert. Both wholesalers and tea growers trusted him implicitly in recognition of his excellent judgment, keen sensitivity and reliable character.
Among the tombi in Uji, Hotta was also the first to purchase tea leaves from outside of Kyoto. In addition to Uji tea, he purchased fresh tea leaves in Nara, Shiga, Shizuoka and other prefectures at the request of long-established wholesalers in Uji. Through such activities, Hotta contributed to the development of the Uji tea business.
In tea business circles, Hotta, who was deeply trusted by his associates, had a high reputation as an ocha-no-sobashi (tea leaf speculator). When he passed away, many long-established wholesalers jointly organized a memorial service for him. Hotta Kisaburo's spirit and business was carried on by Hotta Kazuo (second generation) and Hotta Katsutaro (third generation).
Currently, tea leaf distribution systems are changing, and the number of tombi is decreasing. Hotta Katsutaro in fact quit working as a tombi, due to his firm belief that the conventional system in Kyoto could not meet the demands of present-day customers. In 1978, he established his own company - Hotta Katsutaro Shoten Co., Ltd. - to purchase tea leaves directly from tea growers, and process and wholesale tea products.