From the age of 14, I worked as an apprentice at Kobayashi Keisuke Shoten (now K. Kobayashi & Co., Ltd.), which manufactured peppermint oil and exported fur. Based on the knowledge about fur that I acquired during my 21 years of service there, I established my own business, Usui Shoten.
Initially, Usui Shoten dealt in raw hides for leather shoes and in horsehair, which could be obtained from the hides when they were handled. In March 1956, however, we took over the business from Mitsuboshi, an art brush manufacturer and exporter in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, and this is when we first encountered the world of painting brushes.
I was convinced that manufacturing painting brushes using not only horse hair but also weasel hair was a calling for me because of my knowledge of raw wool. I hurriedly expanded the second floor of the leather warehouse, built a factory and converted my house into an office, and began producing brushes in less than six months.
After that, I made brush making my main business and worked diligently on the development of better brushes. USUI exists for artists who make people happier all over the world. With this in mind, we have been making brushes with an emphasis on quality for over 51 years. We will continue to produce reliable brushes that support the work of artists behind the scenes.