As the name suggests, tsutsusode (sleeve like tube) is a sleeve in the shape of tube, however all the European clothes have sleeve in the shape of narrow tube, so tsutsusode usually refers to such sleeves of Japenese kimono.
In old Japan, kimono with tsutsusode were designed to be worn by outdoor workers, and its main characteristics are that it doesn't have a tamoto (sleeve pouch) or amiyatsukuchi (opening in the sides of the kimono), and its sleeves are stitched to the front and the back without leaving an opening. According to an ancient record, in some fishing villages of Tohoku region, tsutsusode were mainly worn by fishermen, and it was called 'tsutusppo' or 'tsuppo'.
The names of tomesode (black formal kimono for married women) and furisode (formal kimono for single women) came from the names for the distinctive form of their sleeves, but they are now used to refer to the two types of kimono themselves.
From the shape of haniwa (ancient clay figure), the wall painting of Takamatsuzuka-kofun Tomb and the treasure of Shosoin, ancient Japanese people is considered to have worn kimonos with narrow tsutsusode until the early Heian period. Later, narrow and small sleeves were gradually replaced with loose-fitting, bigger sleeves as a result of the flourishing of kokufu bunka (Japan's original national culture) and changes in people's lifestyles. However, as the miyatsuguchi (opening under the sleeve) of the sacred costumes at Tsuruoka-hachimangu Shrine, which is one of Japan's heritage sites from the Kamakura period, have been sewn together, some historians believe that kimono worn in the Heian period (which was prior to the Kamakura period) also had large tsutsusode.
In kimono industry, tsutsusode of ofurisode (gorgeous formal kimono for single women) are especially called 'daimyosode' and regarded as a traditional, elegant shape; such kimono is often used as a formal dress for newborn baby at omiyamairi (visit shrine about thirty days after baby was born). That custom is considered to be a vestige of ancient costume at shrine.
Since the later Heian period, the common people had worn kosode (kimono with narrow sleeves) for going out; as the kosodes drawn emakimono (scroll with pictures) don't have tamoto (drooping part of sleeve of kimono) like normal kimono, it is considered that kosode's sleeve of those period wasn't tsutsusode.
At present, the sleeve of formal kimono for omiyamairi, juban (underwear for kimono), happi (a workman's lively coat) and so on are categorized into Japanese-style costume with tsutsusode.