What are other brushes in Japan, other than Kumano brushes?
I checked the history of brush-making in Japan.
It started 1200 years ago at Nara.
There are four major brush towns in Japan.
The town of Kumano, as you know, produces 80% of brushes in Japan.
Hiroshima Prefecture that has both Kumano and Kawajiri ( e.g. Koyomo and Bunshindo), occupies 90% of the market.
Do you know the other 10%?
The other two are :
Nara is known for its history, temples and deers.
I guess many of you have visited Nara.
Toyohashi is located near Nagoya or the city of Toyota Car Company.
( the picture : Toyohashi makeup brushes )
These towns have histories of more than several hundred years.
Nara brushes started 1200 years ago when one monk visited China and learned brush making.
The monk, whose name is Kukai, crossed the sea to China. There were 4 ships but only 2 shipped arrived in China.
Kukai, with other students, were planning to stay for 20 years, but for some reason, he came back to Japan with knowledge acquired in China after spending two years.
One of them was brush-making.
Nara was capital of Japan and the center of the Japanese culture.
Brush-making started in Nara.
Currently, Nara produces calligraphy brushes, not makeup brushes.
When the World War II ended in 1945, the calligraphy was take out of school programs. That was a compulsory study at school before the war.
It came back to an elementary school in 1971.
The production of calligraphy brushes has dropped significantly.
Many brush companies shifted the focus to makeup brushes.
Now Kumano is known for makeup brushes as well as calligraphy/painting.
‘Kumano’ became a brand name for makeup brushes.
But the process of making calligraphy/painting brushes are more complex and most craftsmen can make makeup, calligraphy and painting brushes.
Thank you for reading!