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Naito Shoten in Kyoto
The Handmade Cleaning Supplies Since 1818
Date:06, Aug, 2014
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
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Crossing the Sanjo Bridge over the Kamo River on the north side of the Sanjo Street, you can find a Japanese architecture shop which hangs up no sign board. It is Naito Shoten who has for about two hundred years dealt in the ancient cleaning items like brushes, brooms and so on. You are there seeing a brilliant implement for keeping your home good.


Morning on a day for the latter Gion Festival in 2014, I visited Naito Shoten and interviewed with the proprietress. Getting in the shop, I kind of felt a cool wind that was given by the Japanese old construction, although it was all under severe heat outside.

She says they established themselves near the Sanjo Bridge in 1818, and have dealt in cleaning supplies from the old days. Originally, they made and sold within Naito Shoten. It got to be difficult because the craftsmen could have had no successors and the like, however. Like a craftsman creates the bamboo brooms in Kyoto and another artisan does hemp-palm scrubbing brushes in Wakayama, Naito deals in the best supplies made at every corner of Japan today.

You will see blooms and brushes everywhere inside Naito Shoten. It is lucky because sometimes everything has sold out, said the landlady. I wondered who on earth took the trouble to buy a broom or a brush there although we mostly have vacuum cleaners today. She answered regardless of age or nation, many come to Naito Shoten.


-Click to Enlarge-
I talked with her for about an hour. Meantime, I saw a young group drop in at the shop and one girl actually buy a scrabbling brush. It is said some old customers have used Naito Shoten long before that the landlady was married into Naito Shoten in 1961.

You might wonder what’s so good on the supplies. Sadly, no words to explain exactly. You get when you actually have. Everything is given by the items. Many have taken troubles to get from Tokyo, Okinawa, Hokkaido, Germany, France, Taiwan, Hong Kong and more. The fact speaks fluently.

You don’t need to worry about the price. Some rare things are expensive; on the other hand, you can find a lot of supplies around 1,000 yen. Naito Shoten has their policy which says Common Price for Daily Use.


Naito Shoten has also guarded their craftsmen and never brought pressure. She said “Artisans are the most important, not just customers.” Then, I found why Naito Shoten has for a long time been loved by a number of people. Naito Shoten has politely kept an ideal triangle which consists of the dealer, the customers and the artisans. Moreover, I believe it is not anything special and has really been so close to Japanese since old years like Edo era.



Straps of Tiny Brushes and Brooms
You Can Use Actually for Cleaning Your Flowers Or So




Reference

・Name: Naito Shoten
・Address: Sanjo Ohashi Nishi-zume, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8004 JAPAN
・Telephone: +81-75-221-3018
・Foundation: 1818
・Hours: 9:30 - 19:30
・Close: Irregularly







 

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