1944 Born native of Tokyo Setagaya. After graduating from university, work as an illustrators and photographers.
His briar crafting journey began when he was fascinated to a point of shock to when he encounter pipes made by Sixten Ivarsson and Jørn Micke. He decide to make his own and seek teaching from Hiroyuki Tokutomi, in which he learned the technical aspect from.
That was what started his 30 years career. From 1975 to 2005. Turning out 1500 handmade pipes in total.
His design style draws from organic shapes in nature. Although taking roots from Danish pipes, his execution and detail is Japanese. It is almost like seeing Japanese interpretation of Danish style. In particular, proportion and size, which can be quite compact, although he made lots of larger size pipe as well.
He enjoys tea ceremony, Road Racer bicycle, classic car, and what goes on top of all that is English Mixture tobacco.
He made lifelong friendship with Jørn Micke, which comes to Japan almost every year. In community, he has a student and friend, Tatsuo Tajima, a bohemian 2nd generation Japanese pipemaker.
Yanagihara san is now 70 years old (as of 2014) but his movement is light, swift, and energetic as if a 45 years old person. Is it because of the tea or English Mixture? I'd like to think it is the later. Now, retired by profession but he makes 1-3 pipes a year. "Just for fun." says Yanagihara san.
Currently he resides in Tokyo and actively riding bicycle.