229. Why is this brush so expensive ?

229. Why is this brush so expensive ?

Why is this brush so expensive ? 

Hi Everyone, 


It was a three day weekend, and people had three-day off till Monday


Kumano had a brush festival, not the same as usual. The festival was online.


Maybe some of you bought brushes online. 

I was asked by a client of mine why this brush in the picture was so expensive.

It was 400,000 yen or 4000 USD.


It is made with a Yakusugi handle and hair of horse (or deer they say) .

The hair cannot be imported now due to the restriction by the Washington Treaty.

Maybe that is one reason, but doesn’t explain why it is 4000USD …..

So I googled it.

The company is called Bunkodo, which seems to focus more on calligraphy brushes, and sells makeup brushes made by another Kumano brush company.


Bunkodo has a history of more than 100 years. 

This is a picture around 1910, so right before the World War I.
They were making brushes in the picture.

The era is called ‘Meiji,’ after the Tokugawa era, Samurai.

By the way, I had a colleague whose name was ‘Tokugawa.’

I asked Tokugawa-san, ‘Is your ancestor a sumurai shogun?’

He said he chose Tokugawa. Well, I cannot choose it….

Then, he explained.

He was a Malaysian and became a Japanese citizen. And he chose it.

And he said that the Tokugawa name was ‘cool.’

I was not able to recognize him as non- Japanese because his Japanese was impeccable. 

Back to brushes,

I will do more research and write about Kumano.


Thank you for reading!