Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品Traditional Crafts of Tokyo 東京の伝統工芸品

Edo Hake

Edo Hake Photo

A tool for creating traditional crafts has become a traditional craft in itself.
The Edo Hake (Edo brush) is an essential tool for traditional Japanese crafts, being used in the form of Urushibake (Japanese lacquer brush) for Urushi application work for Shikki (lacquerware), Kyojibake (brush used by a Hyogushi, or picture framer), wood engraving brush, dyeing brush, and doll brush, and it is trusted by many craftsmen. Seven kinds of brushes, including Oshiroibake (powder puff) used for Japanese makeup, and painting brushes used for coating share the common name of Edo Hake and are manufactured according to techniques established in a long time. Materials used include human hair, animal hair, plant fibers and others, according to the specific application. For example, horse hair is used to facilitate even coating of brushes for Kyojibake. In every case, the tip determines the integrity of a brush product and it is considered that the best tip is one that is flexible and enables even coating. To achieve this, the craftsman devotes a great deal of time and effort to the various processes, which include Hinoshi (ironing) to stretch and straighten the hairs and Kemomi (hair rubbing) using rice husk ash to remove fat. Craftsmen see their mission as making modifications to suit users’ particular needs and will accept orders for products with more or less hair content. The finished products are comfortable and easy to manipulate, and their durability ensures that they will stand up to regular use over extended periods.
Tokyo Brush Manufacturing Association
Address: Tokyo Burashi Kaikan, 2-14, Azumabashi 2-chome, Sumida-ku, Tokyo