I was born and raised in a family where we earned our living by tilling farm and paddy fields, raising cattle and catching seashells. Things started to change when in 1948 my father and I decided to establish our farm business on harvesting and selling water reed. Later on, I decided to venture into roof thatching as an alternative source of income. Things went on smoothly until the time Japan reached its rapid economic growth. It was during this time that I almost surrender the roof thatching business. The rapid decline is attributed to the change of peoples social values and lifestyle. Instead of the traditional goods and techniques, they preferred Western goods and lifestyle. People rebuilt their new houses with Western style design that prioritizes the use of galvanized iron roof or brick roofs.

Upon the encouragement of my son, my business was re-established in September 1993 and was named Kumagai Master Thatchers Co. Ltd. on the belief that thatch business will bounce back in the near future. The company has incorporated all the thatching processes: from harvesting to marketing and lastly, roof thatching. When our company was established, most of the employees are composed of old workers and as a strategy to address the aging labor force, we hired young and potential Japanese thatchers. They were trained under the strict supervision of the master thatchers. Today, our company receives steady demand for thatch roof works mostly done in important cultural heritages and traditional folk houses