One family’s search, for the perfect brush.
In the name of their business Uno Hake Brush highlight two strands of their work. ‘Hake’ are brushes formed of two separate wood pieces that bind the hairs in place. Brushes made traditionally are hand-planted arrays of fibres. Uno, make both in their worshop, which has been in business since 1917. Currently headed by its third generation leader, Chieko Uno, she works together with her daughter Michiyo to maintain the spirt of their craft. ‘Hake’, with the example of the ‘urushibake’ used to apply lacquer, have a long history. Brushes meanwhile are a relatively modern addition to Japanese life with the first thought to have been introduced from France in 1874. Masters in hake were the first brush craftspeople in Japan, and Uno have followed this path in their own history, with a gradual expansion into brushes. It is easy to imagine brushes for use in the home such those for clothes, or to clean the face – but there are also types made for industrial use. Even today, there is some factory equipment that tends to malfunction, if it is not cleaned by an animal hair brush.
The processes used to prepare hair for hake, and for brushes, are also different. In the case of hake, the fibres used are cleaned of their oil, so they are ready to take on and apply new liquids such as paint. Brushes meanwhile are often better when they retain the original ‘oil’ and ‘texture’ from the hair used. Be it goat, horse, pig or boar, each animal involved has hair of slightly different moistness and texture. On the horse, hair from the mane or tail, again differs. Mother and daughter of the Uno family have deep experience of their materials, and a sense to know which type to use and where it should be cut. Applying this knowledge, they produce items of beautiful utility.
Uno Hake Brush Manufacturing Co.,Ltd.