Kumano, Hiroshima prefecture, is Japan’s No.1 town for writing brushes. Producing around 80% of the country’s brushes, one in every ten of the town inhabitants has a related job.
This time we visited Fudenosato Kobo, located in Kumano, the town of brushes.
On the exhibition floor we were welcomed by the largest writing brush in the world! How long do you think it is?
The correct answer is…?
A display pieces made in commemoration of the museum’s opening, it took the tail hair of around 200 horses to make the brush.
This is a collection of writing brushes accumulated by Yozan Kimura (1899-1986), a calligrapher from Kyoto. The total number of brushes in the collection is around 1,000. As you can see, it includes a number of pieces that make you wonder if they really are brushes.
In one corner there was a brush making performance was being given by an artisan of this traditional craft. In the photo above, the artisan is selecting hairs for the brush. If you wish, you can also participate in a brush making experience. And, if you make a reservation at least a week in advance, apparently they’ll also carve your name on the handle of the brush.
Among all the brushes, I wonder if these are the ones that most people imagine…
That’s right, make-up brushes! Kumano’s make-up brushes are highly prized not only domestically, but also overseas. First rate make-up artists insist on the Kumano name.
Located within the Fudenosato Kobo museum, the photo above is of the Kumano brush select shop. Lined up on the shelves you can find around 1500 different types including writing brushes, painting brushes and make-up brushes. Apparently, among the museum visitors, some come just to visit this shop. On the day of our visit, we spotted a female customer selecting make up brushes to give as gifts.
This is a face washing brush, the brush most recommended by the shop staff. Apparently you can whip your soap into a foam that looks like whipped cream. I want one, too!!
In addition to brushes, Fudenosato Kobo has plenty of other charms; it holds various exhibitions and has a popular restaurant, too. How about visiting the historical town of brushes?
Address: 5-17-1 Nakanomizo, Kumano, Aki district, Hiroshima prefecture
Open: 10:00-17:00 (Last entrance at 16:30)
Closed: Mondays (if Monday is a national holiday, closed the following day), New Year’s holidays
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
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