Takakura Crafts

Nature in Kunohe Village, Iwate Prefecture grew up
"Southern broom" that is close to daily life

2022.2.4

Kunohe Village, Iwate Prefecture. The southern broom made here is a bit different from ordinary brooms.

It is the unique "curly" of the tip .

Since the curly tips of the southern broom firmly bite into the gaps between tatami mats and carpets, fine dust and dirt can be swept out comfortably.

When I hear the story of the person who actually uses the broom, It seems that dust can be entangled even from the carpet after vacuuming ...

Takakura Kogei in Kunohe Village is the one that grows such southern brooms from seeds and spares no effort. How is the one and only broom created?

We asked Mr. Kiyokatsu Takakura, the representative of Takakura Crafts, about the reason why the southern broom was born and his commitment to making brooms.


Southern broom

The secret to creating the unique "curly" of the southern broom lies in the environment of Kunohe Village.

From spring to summer, the cold and moist northeasterly wind "Yamase" blows from Okhotsk in Kunohe Village. It is said that this wind slowly grows the great millet, which is the material of the broom, and creates a unique curl on the tip of the broom.

To grow the broom millet, start with soil preparation in the spring when the snow melts. It is cultivated firmly, sprinkled with seeds one by one, and grown in the cool climate of Kunohe Village.

No pesticides are used , so weeds will be played until harvest. It is manually weeded many times during the season, grown by hand salting, and by the end of summer it will be as tall as 3 meters. Carefully mow this one by one, boil the harvested ears in a pot and dry them thoroughly, then pick them up in 15 stages according to the degree of curling of the ears and sort them . ..

By the time this work is finally finished, the season is winter.

We have prepared materials that will become brooms over the course of a year, Skilled craftsmen carefully knit the broom millet and silk thread one by one , a beautiful and practical southern part. A broom is born.

The southern broom made with all your soul is a gem that will continue to be close to your life for 20 years.

I thought the curly ears were a "failure"

Takakura Kogei was originally a farmer in Kunohe Village for generations.

Kunohe village farmers have long been

The tools we use are our own.

I have lived a life while devising with

. However, with the passage of time, the lifestyle has become more convenient, and the traditions and techniques of manufacturing have not been inherited.

It was , the predecessor Tokusaburo Takakura , who was worried about that.

Mr. Tokusaburo learns the technique of making brooms from scratch and grows the great millet.It seems that the brooms made during the off-season were taken to a nearby general store and started to be sold little by little.

However, at that time, instead of brooms characterized by curling, straight brooms were sold . I thought that the curly broom millet ears were a "failure", so I used only straight ears.

But I can't stand to throw it away. It is said that the curly ears that cannot be made into a product are bundled into a broom and handed over to relatives. Then, at a later date, an unexpected contact will come.

You can clean even the finest dust on the carpet! I've never used such a broom before!

The unexpectedly made broom led to the birth of a southern broom with a unique "curly" that is a major feature of Takakura Kogei.

Difficulty of raising, sincere manufacturing

Currently, the representative of Takakura Kogei is Kiyokatsu-san .

Mr. Kiyokatsu was born to the eldest son of the Takakura family, went to an agricultural high school / university in the prefecture with the intention of succeeding a farmer, studied pig farming, and trained at a pig farm in the prefecture for three years. After returning to his hometown and raising pigs for several years, he became a broom craftsman in discussions with his parents.

I was confused at first because I was only thinking about becoming a farmer. I've never made a broom before.

Old craftsmen don't teach me how to make brooms easily, so I just saw and learned how to make brooms. It took four to five years to learn about the process of making brooms, and training is still ongoing.

Mr. Kiyokatsu, who grows and sells, says that the most difficult process is the "growth" farmer's part .

Cultivation of the Great Millet depends on the climate. There is no scientific basis, but from our own experience, the colder ones are more curly.

Every year, I try and make mistakes while reading the weather, but after 28 years of making brooms, the harvest and curl were good, and I thought "it worked!" Only once. hey.

There are difficulties that cannot be helped by experience alone. Every year, I work while saying what to do and what to do. It may be so until I quit.

and Kiyokatsu laugh.

Customer's "voice" is the source of creation

Apart from manufacturing, there is something that Kiyokatsu has cherished since its founding.

That is Customer's "voice" .

To hear the voice, Takakura Kogei is exhibiting and selling at department stores and galleries nationwide.

We make sure that customers can actually see, experience, and be satisfied with their purchases. We also receive creative hints from communication with our customers.

What you want depends on the person. Instead of imposing our own feelings, we value manufacturing that listens to the voices of our customers and makes them happy.

The currently popular "healing broom" for pet brushing is also a product born from the voices of customers. Many people said, "I'm happy to stroke my pet with this broom!", And trial and error. After that, it was commercialized.

By listening to the voice, Takakura Kogei has evolved the southern broom.

Furthermore, recently, has been attracting attention from overseas .

Under Takakura Kogei, orders have been received from the United States, France, and Qatar. Mr. Kiyokatsu says that he wants to convey the charm of southern brooms not only in Japan but also to the world.

Because there is no culture of indoor brooms overseas, it would be interesting to convey the brooms that have been used for a long time in Japan. And in the future, I think it is my mission to pass on the technique of the southern broom to future generations.

The traditional Japanese craft "Nanbu Broom", which is loved all over the world, should be friendly to your daily life and enrich your daily cleaning.

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