20 March 2009

Brush Shopping in Kyoto

Cabinet full of watercolor and calligraphy brushes, porcelain palettes, at Saiundo Fujimoto.
While in Kyoto, I paid a visit to the shop of Saiundo Fujimoto, very well known for hand-made watercolors, and "special materials for Japanese-style painting." This is a lovely little shop, crammed with special brushes, paper, and supplies: glue (nikawa), chalk (gohun), and powdered mineral pigments (iwa-enogu), everything for Nihon-ga and other forms of Japanese painting.

Ms Fujimoto added my card to the guest artist book. The drawers behinds her are full of bamboo handle brushes, and trays of watercolors.

Here is my lovely new set of handmade watercolors, each in its own little ceramic tray. What a gorgeous palette, just as it is.

A display of sumi-e paint brushes at Kyukyodo.
Just up the street from Saiundo Fujimoto is a wonderous store called Kyukyodo. They specialize in calligraphy papers, brushes, incense, and lovely gifts. Trust me it took all of my will not to buy one of these giant sumi brushes.

Next time you are in Kyoto, Visit Saiundo Fujimoto: Anekoji Fuyacho Higashi, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto.Here is a little map to help you find it (click to enlarge.)
Kyukyodo is only a short block away here (map)


  1. Neat! I love little specialty shops like this. And, that it was in a whole 'nother country is a plus, too.

  2. Oh I could easily spend a fortune in a place like that! What beautiful colours and brushes.

  3. http://namiito.com/process/process.html

    Here is a link to an artist I absolutely love. She has a wonderful slide show explaining the process of preparing the rice paper and making the paints. The images are beautiful and I love how she outlines each detail very simply but lovingly. The colors she uses in her paintings are so beautiful, I've only purchased prints, but I'm sure the paintings are so much more wonderful with all the textures.

  4. I was there and bought those amazing watercolors! But I am in the need for more! Do you know how I could buy some??

    1. they won't be the same, but there is a seller on amazon selling decent Japanese watercolor sets: http://amzn.to/1TnIi3d

  5. Hello,

    Thank you for sharing this. Saiundo makes me really want to visit Japan. Visiting Kyoto is now on my and my sister’s bucket list; it seems so charming. Regarding those colours in the ceramic pans, may you please give me the outside dimensions, if it isn’t too much trouble? I just want to know the height, depth and width. I want to compare the size to regular full pan dimensions which are about 1.9 x 3.2 x 1 cm. Also, how did you know what each colour was? We’re the store owners able to converse in English to explain?

    Thanks again!

    1. I do encourage you to visit this amazing little shop when in Kyoto. The owner did not speak much English but we were able to manage. I chose the colors in this set by pointing to them! Sorry I can't help about the size of the trays, as I used these paints up years ago.


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