History of the Satsuma Tsuge Boxwood
◉ The high temperature and high humidity of Kagoshima, Japan is perfect weather for healthy plants.
Especially the southern Satsuma district which is known as the home of Boxwood and
an abundant supply of materials.
◉ The quality and the luster of the elegant Japanese rose color of wood is dense and hard; it was said that the color of the boxwood of
Satsuma is excellent and was often used for making seal materials and hair combs.
◉ It is said that the origin of the "satsuma tsuge comb" began when
samurai warriors from Satsuma clan first started making them as they returned from Edo after
completing the flood prevention works at Kiso River during the Edo period.
The boxwood comb making became widespread as a side job for lower level samurai warriors.
There were about 10 comb manufacturers by the time of the Taisho Period and each manufacturer
put all their ingenuity into the design of comb.
◉ In times past…in the Ibusuki region of Japan, when a girl was born, a boxwood tree was planted and the two grew up together. When the girl gets married, combs and furniture are made with the same tree which she then would take into her new home.
The materials for the boxwood comb are naturally dried for more than 3 years and hand-carved individually.
And finally camellia oil is applied repeatedly into the comb to bring out its gloss.
◉ Today, besides the comb, the beautiful yellow color of the boxwood is used for making brooches and other accessories.