I was born on August 18, 1973 into the fourth generation of a "Kakimochi*", rice cracker shop.
* Sliced and dried rice cake

I was brought up watching my father working with true craftsmanship following procedures passed down the family line, and worked in the factory when I started primary school.

I hated having to help out in the factory while my friends around me played outside.

Both my parents worked everyday, and never took a day off.

My younger brother Akihito Yamamoto and I were sometimes left with our grandmother or and relatives or with friends.

I had a grudge against my parents.
"My parents are not home"
"For my parents, their children are less important than work"

Currently, this is the only place in Japan creating these high quality "arare", and "osenbei", Also in 2008 we established Kyo-Arare speciality cafe, "SABOU SOUZEN", which offers "fried ice cream", called "gozan no yuki", "nishijin obi roll", "kyo-parfait" and so on. The menu includes ingredients from the world of Western style desserts.

I continued working even after starting junior high school.

I ran away from home, and became something of a "bad boy" for a while,
because the pressure of being the "the fourth generation" of the household seemed too high.

I couldn't see the point of what my father was doing - cutting down on his sleeping time to dedicate himself to the making of "kakimochi"

However I started high school and met a teacher who was thoughtful and kind, and shed tears for me.

I reformed myself and began to understand the world a little and came to be able to understand the hardships of my mother and father.

When I came to think about moving onto higher education, I decided I would take on the tradition and work to maintain the taste of my father had worked so hard to keep alive.

So I too came to work hard and make efforts to master and refine our products even further.

I finished university and came back to my father's shop after training in two Okaki shops.

Then everyday I made every possible effort to develop and refine new products.

A competitor in the same business had been forced out of business due to the recession and price slashing, and I became keenly aware, that even the significance of the traditional craftsman can fade due to social trends.

I decided that my mission would be to pursue, genuine skill and taste and pass on this sophisticated culture to future generations, and independantly founded Kyonishijin Kasho Souzen. and I established a new factory in accordance with my philosophy of leaving the highest skill which I call "JO-WAZAMONO ARARE" to the next generation.

And so, now I have the honour of being one of the most highly skilled craftsman in this field in Japan.

People around me say that I have a genuine spirit of craftsmanship, in that I follow through on what I say and don't compromise.
We are now a family of four, myself, my wife (Shinobu), our daughter (Reika) and our son (Seiya).

My intention is to carry on preserving the essence of the two characters uv which signify "culture"and not be swayed by the fashions and trends which come and go, as I continue in my devotion to creating "Arare" everyday.

A crest for YAMAMOTO SOUZEN has been completed.

It is a crest we are proud of, which was created after many modifications and a lot of input from myself.

This crest was designed by Ms. Noriko Oki who is a respected crest designer.
She designed the crest of the tea called "Ayataka" made by Coca-Cola.

uۂɕAɘ@؏imaruni idaki ken honoo ni renge shoumajv A circle with a sword, flame and a beautiful flower.

My hope is that this can be an emblem symbolising what we stand for as a family and as a company, and for our associates and customers as we move forward.

With the two swords, I officially open up the new era of more sophisticated culture.

I endeavour to pursue genuine taste and skill and continue to improve craftsmanship, while maintaining my passion.

As the name of the flower "@؏ (Renge Shouma)"@suggests, I aim to pursue traditional beauty, and deliver a more refined culture to future generations.

My dream is that the name of YAMAMOTO SOUZEN and this crest will be passed down from generation to generation.