So you may or may not have noticed I’ve been MIA on this blog for more than a week. The reason I’ve been gone is because I went to Japan on vacation with my family! And if you’re a huge makeup fan, you know Japan, specifically Kumano, is famous for the softest and rarest brushes in the world. They say the best makeup artists use Kumanofude, and the most high end brands are said to also have their brushes made there. I first heard of Japanese brushes like Hakuhodo, Chikuhodo, Suqqu, and Koyudo through Lisa Eldridge because she seems to only use them and Zoeva. (That’s why I almost exclusively only buy Zoeva too!) It’s not that they are very expensive, but outside of Japan they can be sold for much higher prices because of their rarity.
Naturally, when I found out we were going to Japan, I immediately dreamt of picking up whatever Kumano brushes I could afford. I almost wasnt able to because I didnt have the time nor the resources to go to Kumano because we only had 7 days and were going to both Osaka and Tokyo. But with a little research, I found out there’s a tiny store inside another store in Ginza that sells Kumanofude (Kumano brushes)! It’s called the “Hiroshima Brand Shop Tau” on Google Maps. Don’t be fooled by how the store looks, because on the 1st floor, they only sell food products, mostly lemons. But on the 2nd floor, they have more trinkets and souvenirs, and on the left is the very out of place Kumanofude Select Shop!
Photography isnt allowed in the store so I had to take this from far away. The brands that I’m certain they have are Chikuhodo, Koyudo, and Mizuho. I did not see Hakuhodo or Suqqu but I could also have just not known what their logos or markings look like. Suqqu is also available in the Tokyu department store beside Shibuya station.
They also carried paintbrushes by the way, in case anyone is interested, and all brushes had a display model so you could feel the bristles for yourself.
So let’s get to the brushes I purchased! Watch the short clip below to see the shape and density of the brushes I purchased:
I only purchased some of the least expensive brushes because they are all I can afford but some brushes retailed for more than 10,000 yen or even a lot more!
Chikuhodo R-S2 (~1,200 yen excl tax)
This is one of the cheapest brushes in the store. I picked this up because I dont have enough of this kind of brush. It most resembles a flat shader brush that you can use for packing on pigment. However it’s not packed too flat so it can be used as a blending brush if you twist it sideways. It reminds me of a denser Zoeva 227.
Chikuhodo R-S4 (~2,000 yen excl tax)
Soft gray squirrel and stiff weasel hair
This is a small tapered brush with a tip that’s midway between rounded and pointed. It’s perfect for both smoking out the lashline and applying pigment on smaller areas such as the outer v, inner corner, or right on the crease. This is said to be the closest dupe to the more expensive and discontinued Suqqu S.
Mizuho CMP527 (~2,300 yen excl tax)
Soft gray squirrel and pony hair
This is a small candlestick shaped brush. It has a fluffy body with a pointed tip that makes it perfect for precise yet blended placement of pigment. You can use it on the crease, browbone, the tops of the cheekbones, sides of the nose, cupid’s bow, and in some cases even on the hollows of the cheeks.
For more of my Japan haul, watch my video below. Brushes start at 1:30: