"Otagiri is a name often used to describe a variety of stoneware that was widely sold in souvenir outlets and department stores in the West Coast from the 1950’s for about 47 years. In fact, the name was initially used in reference to the company that was involved in the importation and distribution of the porcelain and stoneware. The Otagiri Mercentile Company (OMC) imported the handcrafted and hand-painted ceramics made in Japan for distribution to high-end department stores as well as gift shops mainly in San Francisco. OMC also functioned as a third party manufacturing company, making products for other organisations like the San Francisco Music Box Company and Gibson Greetings. Celebrated artists such as Bob Harrison, Wendy Morgan, Kurt R. Kress and Tom Taylor were routinely hired to design Otagiri products. After operating for more than two decades, OMC finally registered as a trademark in 1980 in the US. Otagiri Mercentile Company was later on sold to another company that specialises in the manufacture of collectibles in 1994 and not later afterward, manufacture of the ceramics was discontinued."