Born in Shigaraki, Japan in 1936, Mr. Otani grew up in the midst of that pottery town’s famous artists, studios, and kilns. In 1960, he undertook studies at Kyoto Craft Institution where he studied under Kyubei Kiyomizu and others. A member of the Shigaraki Cultural Council, Shiro has spent more than fifty years advocating on behalf of Japanese ceramics and creating many opportunities for artists from around the world to engage with the potters of Shigaraki. He has taught at many schools including SUNY New Paltz in New York and Oregon School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Mr. Otani is best known in the United States for designing and building the anagama kiln at Arrowmont in Tennessee. While there, he was awarded honorary citizenship both in the State of Tennessee and in Knoxville.