The products that wowed me most at AEON’s Hiroshima Product Fair were not the food. We’ve seen Japanese food at other fairs. Yes, it’s some of the world’s finest and best quality makeup brushes known as Kumano Fude. Kumano is a small town in Aki District, Hiroshima Prefecture and is best known for its “Fude” or brushes which are all hand made.
According to this article, the town grew in fame when members of the Japan women’s soccer team (“Nadeshiko Japan”) received makeup brushes made in Kumano from Prime Minister Naoto Kan after winning the Women’s World Cup in 2011. There is also an annual Kumano brush festival held at the end of September.
Of its population of over 26,000 people,1500 people are craftsmen called “Fude-shi”. They are the ones that run the manufacturing industry of Fude. Kumano has also seventeen highly skilled craftsmen who have passed an official test, and have been appointed commanders of traditional Fude that is regulated by the traditional craft industry law. (This law was founded to promote the traditional Japanese craft traditions). The materials used for the manufacturing of a Fude are mainly hair from goats, horses, weasels, deer and raccoons. The materials used for Fude-handles are purchased fromOkayama and Shimane , as well as Taiwan and South Korea.
If I ever had the opportunity to travel around Japan, I’d definitely make it a point to stop by Kumano. I have a fascination with makeup brushes and I am sure they are top quality! For the time being, I will just have to be content with another visit to AEON’s Hiroshima Product Fair.