It was in 1954 when Endo Akira was adopted as husband for a daughter of the Tsutsumi family
whose forefathers had been renowned iron smiths such as Kanesada the Tenth, Kanetsugu the
First, Kanetsugu the Second, Kanemitsu the First, Kanemitsu the Second, and Kanemitsu the
Third. When Akira was taken into the family, they were, as wooden clog makers, residing on the
property bestowed upon Miyoshi Tohshiro Nagakuni, a master swordsmith, who had accompanied
his feudal lord, Kato Yoshiaki, to the Aizu area upon the change of fief.
After Master Nagakuni had put the place in operative order in 1627, Nagamasa the First, then Nagamichi the First, had succeeded the workshop, its operation having lasted for 250 long years until the time of Nagamichi the Twelfth, who had to stop producing swords in 1876 as the law banning the wearing of swords had been issued.
Nagamich the Twelfth, reputedly known far and wide during the late Tokugawa regime, then, shifted his business from sword making to tool making, fostering numbers of apprentices before its closure in 1888. The Tsutsumi family, after that, became clog makers and enjoyed a considerable success, but by the time Akira was married into the family in 1954, the paulownia clog business had been on the decline, thus the future prospect of the family economy was entrusted to the young groom’s resourcefulness.
Although blacksmith business was also dwindling in those days, a flash of inspiration eventually led Akira to a revolutionary invention of a stainless steel hoe, named “Hime-kuwa” later on, the chief product of the foundry which has been expanding its market all over the country to this day.