Kunio Tsuchiya / Founder of Tsuchiya Kaban

In 2022, our founder Kunio Tsuchiya was chosen as Contemporary Master Craftsman by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as a leading leather Randoseru producer with exceptional skill. Even now, in his 80s, he is still dedicated to developing future generations. He remains active in his atelier even today, mentoring the next generation of craftspeople.

"I was able to come this far thanks to the blessings of many people starting with my master and my seniors, and everyone in the company, our business partners, and customers. That is why I want to give back by helping others."

With that in mind, he began work to develop young talent 20 years ago. There is both urgency, that Japan's excellent craftsmanship cannot go extinct, and hope, that this craftsmanship will be passed on in the future. The training of successors is something we do not just for our own company, but for the entire bag market as well as all Japanese craftsmanship.

In Japan, most elementary school kids use Randoseru for six years until they graduate."Something that is durable enough for a child to use for six years and comfortable enough to be worn on the back easily for a daily commute to school was one goal, but even more important was to add a one-of-a-kind dignity and beauty that touches the hearts of the child and their family. In order to create this dignity and beauty, we must seek out the needed materials, craftsmanship, and design, and make no compromises even down to the smallest details."

OTONA RANDSEL was released on the company's 50th anniversary. This is a very ambitious signature model of Tsuchiya Kaban that distills the technique and knowhow that we have developed over the years and, most of all, demonstrates our appreciation for the customer and commitment to craftsmanship.

Kunio Tsuchiya

Our Founder, Kunio Tsuchiya was born in Gifu Prefecture in 1938 and moved to Tokyo when he was just 15. As a young man he began his career working for a maker of the traditional Japanese school bag, “Randoseru”.

In 1965, at the age of 27, he branched out on his own and was gaining success, winning several awards in his industry, such as the National Department Store Association Chairman's Special Design Award and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Bureau Director-General Award.

In 2022, he was selected as a Contemporary Master Craftsman by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare as well as a Japan Leather Goods Meister by the Japan Leather and Leather Goods Industries Association.
Over time, Kunio Tsuchiya became a leader in this field, constantly innovating and perfecting leather craft, even inventing his own leather tools.

Interview with Our Founder