Toyohashi FudeToyohashi Brushes

Late in the Edo era, feudal lord of Yoshida feudal clan which ruled area equal to current Toyohashi-shi invites craftsman of Kyoto as brush strokes artisan (goyofudesho) making writing brush for feudal clan, and what recommended the making of writing brush as side business to lower grade samurai does by opening.
Writing brush came to be made with the manufacturing method of product rino a kind of writing brush same as current writing brush which improved core brush with a colored thread wound holder (shimmakifude) in the Meiji early years, and it was the basics of Toyohashi Fude . 375 craftsmen made with writing brush inherit traditional skills and techniques and are working hard at the making of writing brush now.

Toyohashi is situated at the center of the area which was once ruled by the Yoshida clan. Toward the end of the 18th century, the leader of the clan brought in Suzuki Jinzaemon from Kyoto, and he began making brushes for the clan. Gradually lower ranking samurai started this work and this marked the true beginnings of the craft in Toyohashi.
Toward the end of the 19th century, Haga Jirokichi promoted the making of a coreless brush called a suihitsu and the same brushes are still being made today. Jirokichi was also instrumental in giving the craft a firm base in the area, and established a scheme for the training of apprentices.

Being a style of writing brush in general use, the market for Toyohashi Fude has been greatly affected by the importing of cheaper brushes from China. A great deal of effort is therefore being made to produce top quality brushes to appeal to the Japanese user, in order to survive in a very competitive market. Various types of brushes for calligraphy and painting are still being made with unfailing diligence, following traditional methods and techniques.

  • Notification

    skills and techniques

    Use ash of chaff for for sadiron and hair fir tree.

    "We put up comb" and, after oshita, grind cylindrical tea cup with a blue line around the rim using "share board" and scissors.

    "Work out, and mix" mixed wool; niyorukoto.

    Use hemp thread for "it is uncle".

    Raw materials

    Do ear with animal hair having materials which are equal to hair of goat, horse, raccoon dog, weasel, deer, cat, giant flying squirrel, squirrel or ten or these.

    Assume axial material bamboo or tree.

  • Work scenery

    Production process of Toyohashi Fude is divided into process of 40 finely, but introduces the big flow here.

    Process 1: Sorting

    We sort out from raw wool according to use on seeing length of hair length, the good or bad of point of a brush. We dry boiling or hair which we blanched and pull out extra cotton wool with gold comb afterwards.

    Process 2: Hair fir tree

    We cover with ash which we roast chaff and made and remove fat content of animal included in raw wool. We surround skin of deer and strongly rub and give to make absorption of sumi better.

    Process 3: We put up comb

    We like with gold comb carefully with point of a brushes together and fix form.

    Process 4: We work out and mix

    Using water by this process by process to let mix "hair with the youngest elasticity called the former wool of writing brush called "longest hair on the tip of a writing brush" (inochige), hair right under the tip called "throat hair" (nodoge), waist hair (seem to go), Toyohashi Fude 's greatest; feature. Even if ear which was able to be mixed by expert craftsman takes any ear, combination of longest hair on the tip of a writing brush, throat hair, waist hair is uniform and is correct, and, as for the hair loss of ear, there are none at all.

    Process 5: Put up core; Jomo cliff

    We divide into size for one core and it comes in in model and makes form of core. We wind Jomo around core which we dried.

    Process 6: Finish

    After having inserted ear in axis of bamboo, we fix form of ear while turning thread which we soak ear with paste and wound. We carve brand name and author name on axial trunk and are completion.


  • Close-up

    There is individuality of person describing here. Toyohashi Fude which gives originality to be full of with sumi

    We suck ink well, and sumi brush adjusts to sumi late. Toyohashi Fude which writes, and is praised highly by taste and many calligraphers which slips. Toyohashi Fude said to occupy around 80% of national share of high-quality writing brush is made by complete manual labor of one by one expert craftsman. We asked veteran Shinobu Sakakibara for making of writing brush 50 years of Toyohashi Fude to be able to answer any order from visitor about story.


    It is totally like zoo of the country

    Saying is "is zoo of the slightly small country?."; Sakakibara. Of course they do not actually keep animal, but, as for the hair (it is said with raw wool) of animal had always ready in workshop of Sakakibara, ten kinds do not fall to giant flying squirrel, friend, swan of badger to weasel to goat, horse, rabbit, raccoon dog. As for Edo, these produced without limit in old days in mountain behind nearby of Meiji (only goat was not produced note. As originally we were not in Japan, import from Chugoku occupies 70% in) these days. As we may not enter when I want, we seem to stock a lot when we get good thing.

    Variation of writing brush is infinite

    Share of the whole writing brush is 25%, but there is much the professional calligraphys for customer of Toyohashi Fude told that only high-quality writing brush occupies 70-80% of national share. At Sakakibara, we deliver in store specializing in calligraphy of Tokyo, but it is said that various order including "with thing that there are fewer sumi implications that point of a brush can graze" reaches through shop that it is with "thing which is softer, and is chewy well". Sakakibara examines materials closely to order from customer and makes original writing brush. It is said that we may have you wait more than one year to collect by several that we sometimes picked from bundle of raw wool. It is patient story. "Is it kind of writing brush? It is not counted. Infinite. Therefore you must have technique that can answer any order anytime at the same time." It is said that we may make with bundle of feather and rushes of waterfowl.

    Approximately 700 writing brushes which craftsman makes a month

    Handwork of craftsman that writing brush of Toyohashi is alone thoroughly

    It is said that work process of Toyohashi Fude becomes 40 when we distribute finely. It is handwork that is all careful except that we cut axle of bamboo. One craftsman performs the handwork thoroughly. The point is different from writing brush of other production centers. There is place where we hire part at other production centers and make the division of labor system, but it is said that there is not quality control that then is total. It is always writing brush craftsman of Toyohashi based on writing brush becoming quality standard at hand to supply writing brush of high quality steadily.

    Work process of 40 is approximately completely manual labor of craftsman

    It is writing brush not to be identified if we do not use

    For words that Sakakibara was talked about many times, there was what's called "thing to know the writing brush only after using". Trial does not listen to writing brush. It is revealed whether the writing brush is good thing only after paying money, and soaking with ink, and using and hears neither returned goods nor exchange. Therefore you must make good thing. Sakakibara always says that you must make good thing. We trade with good writing brush by each person using the writing brush, but there is not compromise in posture of Sakakibara by good writing brush for the person using.

    Writing brush to use with book and black-and-white drawing

    We heard slightly advantageous story from Sakakibara. It is black-and-white drawing becoming quiet boom, but usually draws black-and-white drawing with writing brush for black-and-white drawing recently. Have a slightly shorter writing brush for black-and-white drawing than writing brush of book, but "should cut point of writing brush for book which became old a little. Though writing brush said that was different one by one, well, is thing which is between cousins. In that way you should have you enjoy carelessly." It is said that there are many people having book and black-and-white drawing, both for hobby.
    If "some black-and-white drawings make progress with black-and-white drawing if some books improve and get tired and get tired, you should do book again. It is to want children to enjoy book more now that I am thinking. To that end, leader is necessary. We should have former teacher who retires because the present young teacher is unfamiliar to book, and local, is play an active part, or we work out strategy in various ways."
    Idea only by Sakakibara called writing brush craftsman seems to come out to two sons still more.

    Writing brush which Sakakibara makes is wholesaled by famous Writing tools and Abacus shop of Tokyo

    Craftsman profile

    Shinobu Sakakibara (we remember Sakakibara)

    It was born in 1937 (Showa 12). Since, after the graduation from junior high school, was apprenticed to boss at 16 years old, way person circle these for nearly 50 years. Both sons are writing brush craftsmen now.


    Unexpectedly simple ... black-and-white drawing

    We heard that black-and-white drawing became quiet boom and visited culture center in Nagoya-shi. It is "first sumi Aya image" of Taido Mui (how about mui, sea bream) teacher classroom to have done it on that day. Change color with paint to picture which we drew while looking at copybook thinly and do. 18 people challenged cherry trees in full blossom of today's problem and triple tower new students increased in new school term. According to Mr. Takei, what we draw while looking at copybook (we sometimes rode paper on the copybook and thinned and copied) seems to be very good for study of composition. As there is copybook, you can describe well, and finished simplicity is attractive, and bring one piece to beginner in approximately one hour. 70-year-old woman who participated "like what have in house, and can rather decorate immediately. We said, we have family praise.

    • It is elaborating product completion for approximately one hour while looking at copybook

    • Lesson advances peacefully while receiving instruction of teacher

    • When we look into copybook of Mr. Takei, everybody is earnest



Industrial art object name Toyohashi Fude
Phonetic symbol toyohashifude
Classification of industrial art object Writing tools and Abacus
Main product Calligraphy brush strokes, slender brush, Japanese drawing pen
Main production area Aichi / Toyohashi-shi, Toyokawa-shi, Gamagori-shi, Shinshiro-shi others
The designation date December 15, 1976

Contact information

■local production associations

Toyohashi Fude promotion cooperative association
5-13, Minowacho, Toyohashi-shi, Aichi
TEL: 0532-61-8255
FAX: 0532-61-8255

■Associated exhibit space, facility


As for the Toyohashi Fude , general calligraphy brush for painting is the main constituent. In late years cheap Chugoku writing brush steps forward and receives big blow. However, we concentrate all energy on the making of high-quality article suitable for Japanese and make thing which is not defeated by Chugoku writing brush.

Calligraphy brushes are the main variety of Toyohashi Fude brushes. In recent years, cheaply-priced brushes from China have entered the market, dealing a huge blow to local producers. However, makers of Toyohashi Fude put their all into making high-quality products for Japanese consumers and in this way they are able to stand up to the Chinese brushes.

How to make

Process made with writing brush is approximately 36 processes. We sort out hair becoming raw materials when we greatly distribute and do hair fir tree and we work out and mix and fix hair. We make core with families together and wind the hair which we prepared outward as Jomo (uwage) and touch axis and we put sculpture for axis and are completed. Characteristic of how to make Toyohashi Fude is to do "kneading on fire mixing using water". It is only excellence product with handicraft which inherited traditional skills and techniques cultivated during long history.

There are 36 steps to making a brush. The major steps include sorting the hairs that will become the brush tip, cleaning the hairs by a massaging technique called kemomi, and then the hairs are put in order using a technique called nerimaze. The hairs are arranged and the core is made, which is wrapped an outside layer of hairs called uwage, then attached to a shaft, which is then engraved and then the brush is complete. A unique characteristic of Toyohashi Fude is the nerimaze step where water is used to arrange the hairs. These high quality handmade items are a result of traditional techniques and methods that have been handed down over a long history.

Voice from production center

Hair fir tree is work to massage chaff of nonglutinuous rice in ash which we burnt to remove oil content of hair of animal. In addition, the quality of writing brush is fixed by kneading on fire mixing. Please see wonderful counterattack of expert by all means.