Kumano, Japan, a brushmaking town

The town of Kumano is located in the historical city of Hiroshima Japan. Although Hiroshima is famous for the nuclear attack during WWII, very little is known about the town of Kumano and its rich history of brush making. Brush making in Kumano started around 1830 at the end of Japan’s Edo period. Among Kumano’s population of 26,000 people, 1,500 are craftsmen called Fude-shi. Also, Kumano has seventeen highly skilled craftsmen who were designated as masters in traditional Fude making by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (presently called minister of economy). A staggering 80% of all brushes produced in Japan are made in Kumano, which totals over 15 Million brushes annually.

Kumano maintains the highest concentration of brush craftsmen anywhere in the world and prides itself by producing brushes traditionally, one by one, all by hand. This level of attention to detail and quality is unachievable by our competitors and forms the backbone of our success. We maintain a contract with the prestigious Kumano Brush Association which consists of 150 major manufacturers all using techniques dating back 170 years. It is this philosophy of quality rather than quantity that has allowed Kumano to produce some of the finest brushes in the world.

Kumano maintains the largest museum worldwide dedicated to the art of brush making. It showcases the history of brush evolvement for two centuries. Having a set of brushes displayed here is very prestigious as it acknowledges an achievement in brush design or manufacturing innovation.

Brush craftsman at Kumano’s Fudenosato Kobo Brush Museum

World’s largest brush at Fudenosato Kobo Brush Museum

We have worked closely with the Kumano Brush Association for the promotion and advancement of Kumano-made brushes for many years. Our close ties to Kumano city allows Takara PBG Group Inc. unprecedented access to the city’s brush companies.