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Products brand Tsuge

Kyoichiro Tsuge, the founder of Tsuge, was born on February 25th, 1911 in Kanazaqa, Ishikawa. His mother Kei was a decendant of the famous swordsmith Kanewaka of the Kaga Domain, while his father Tomosaburo was from the samurai family of Tsuge in Kaga. The Tsuges served as the chief retainer of the Daimyo Kaga-Maeda family. Kyoichiro's lifetime passion for making things was inherited from his parents. In 1923, whyen the Tsuge family lived in Korea, Kyoichiro lost his mother and also his father on a year later. Orphaned at the age of 13 and brought back to Tokyo by his relative, he started a life in apprenticeship under a master of ivory pipe making (cigarette holders were also called pipes at the time). Kyoichiro finally opened his own workshop, Tsuge Pipe Company Limited in 1936 after the harsh apprenticeship and got married to his wife Tamae in the same year. When imported briar became available in the 1950's, TSUGE started making briar pipes. Kyoichiro requested an ivory carver to engrave traditional Japanese motifs such as Mt. Fuji, three monkeys, Toshogu, and Geisha on pipe bowls. The pipes were sold to the US soldiers as souvenirs at the Imperial Hotel and Yokohama officers club, and at the shops like PX and USO. In the 1960's a demand of pipes for soldiers increased due to the aggravation of the Vietnam War and a large amount of cherry wood pipes made in Japan were exported to Saigon. 

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