Searching all of Japan for handcrafted items that express its heart and soul, our proprietor, KASHIYUKA, presents things that bring a bit of luxury to everyday life. The theme this time is in keeping with Casa BRUTUS’ Special Edition on Tokyo and features crafts from the period when the town was known as Edo, from 1603 to 1868. In Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district, in a shop that’s stood continuously for three centuries, she came upon a handcrafted Western-style clothing brush.
At this point these hairs are typically folded in the middle, so that the tips line up. But at Edo-ya they purposely bend them slightly differently for every two to three implants, so that they alternate in height. This minute difference gives suppleness to the brush, and improves its ability to remove debris from clothing. I was astonished to note that the number of fibers grasped each time, as well as the location of the bend, are controlled only by hand and eye, and yet are unfailingly consistent. It was the way in which, with each grasp of fiber, the crafter realigns the remaining hair on the worktable, that brought me to the realization that in this regularity and repetition of motion lies the core of artisanship. Witnessing this was thrilling!