The Kikusui brewery was founded in 1881 by Setsugoro Takasawa, who left his family home at the age of 16 to start his own business. In 1905 the business was inherited by the second generation Shuntaro who energetically studied advancing brewing techniques from across the country, introduced rice polishing machines and increased the kura’s sales, creating a 1,000-koku brewery. However, in 1940 Shuntaro succumbed to cerebral apoplexy and the following year his son, Tokujiro, also passed away due to renal failure. Tokujiro’s son, Eisuke, was only 11 at the time of his death, leaving his widow, Chiyo, to become the third brewery manager. Eisuke finally became the fourth company president in 1954.
Eisuke took what he learned from studying at the Waseda University School of Commerce, paired it his family’s spirit of enterprise and continued their work to modernize the brewery, beginning with abolishing the kioke (wooden cask) system. But his kura was destroyed during the 1964 Niigata earthquake, and in the flooding of the Kaji river in 1966 and ’67. In 1969 Eisuke moved the business to its current location, and abandoned the tōji system in 1972, propelling them forward by bringing in more advanced equipment for more logical production.