May 27, 2008

300 Years Old:::Kyukyodo Company

The ground for the first Kyukyodo store was broken in 1633 in the Teramachi district of Kyoto, by a descendent of a warrior, whose deeds are chronicled in The Tale of the Heike. More than 300 years later, Kyukyodo still stocks incense, sumi ink, and calligraphy brushes. But they also sell rubber stamps in kanji and English, washi photo frames, and gold wedding albums. Customers are just as apt to be foreign tourist groups strolling Ginza's Chuo Dori as kimono-clad women looking for that perfect New Year's card, scroll hanger, or shrine book. The first floor of Kyukyodo's main Ginza branch stocks more than 250 different rolls of washi in every color and style imaginable, from delicate two-color patterns and in-your-face sakura motifs to thick lacquer-like red and black paper. Washi letter sets and more expensive Chinese types for calligraphy are also on offer.
-From Metropolis, Japan's #1 English Magazine