The history of Kumano brushes dates back to the late Edo period (1603-1868). Farmers in Kumano went to Yoshino in Nara and Kishu in Wakayama for work during winter seasons. They purchased brushes and inkstones made in these areas and peddled them on their journey home. Later, young people who learned brush-making taught local people their brush-making techniques and brush-making started in Kumano.
After the national education system was established in 1872 and the number of children who went to school grew, the demand for brushes increased as well as the volume of brush production. However, the volume of brush production decreased for a while after World War II as calligraphy education was suspended. On the contrary, new types of Kumano brushes started producing such as those for painting and makeup.
Nowadays, Kumano brushes are widely known for their high quality both in Japan and abroad. Kumano is the top producer of writing, painting, and makeup brushes in Japan.
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