Leading traditional industries in Kyoto | Interview with young female craftsmen [Vol.2]

The second installment of interviews with craftsmens who support traditional culture. Today, March 20th, the vernal equinox, is “Traditional Industry Day,” so we interviewed two Japanese confectionery artisans and a Kyo-kanoko-shibori(seed stitch) artist. Just like the first part, the highlights include the girls’ work scenes, hair styling and makeup, and cuts that highlight their beauty. We also spoke to a hairstylist who does hair and makeup.


NAKANO SEIYAKU, a hair cosmetics manufacturer headquartered in Kyoto, is celebrating its 65th anniversary.


Did you know that there is a hair cosmetics manufacturer called NAKANO SEIYAKU in Kyoto ? In particular, those with a high sense of style may be familiar with the styling agent affectionately known as “Nakano Wax.”

NAKANO SEIYAKU is a hair cosmetics manufacturer that handles a famous Japanese wax called  Nakano Wax. They are a long-established company headquartered in Kyoto , a globally popular city , and will celebrate our 65th anniversary on September 18, 2024. (*)

This time, We focuses on three young craftsmen who support the culture of Kyoto, who have a deep connection with NAKANO SEIYAKU! Combining the power of beauty, we will introduce you to the unknown charms of Kyoto’s traditional industries.

 *Refer to ” NAKANO SEIYAKU Official Website

Click here for details

Kyoto culture spun and reborn by female craftsmen

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Part 2 of interviews with artisans who support traditional culture! In this article, we will introduce the Japanese confectionery artisansn and craftsman of “Kyo-kanoko-shibori”.

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◼︎Japanese confectionery artisan

 Asuka Sakurai

Asuka works as an apprentice confectioner at Kanshundo , which has shops in the main store, east store, and Sagano store. The Higashi branch, where we visited this time, also holds hands-on classes for making Japanese confection, and the store is often used as a lecturer.

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◼︎Binder craftsman

 Chisato Takahashi

She is a third-generation parent and child who works as a tying craftsman for “Kyo-kanoko-hibori.” She creates many works here as her home and atelier.

Professional skills of young female craftsmen

1. Opening up a new world of Japanese confection | Asuka Sakurai

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Asuka Sakurai is working as an apprentice at Kanshundo, a Japanese confection specialty store in Kyoto.

She has been a craftsman for 7 years. Japanese confectionery artisans vary in their ability to actually make Japanese confection, but in this industry there are many who can only make the ingredients.however She active at the forefront as confectionery artisans. 

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This is how they make fresh confections. You can enjoy the shapes and flavor . This work can be said to utilize the artistic sensibilities unique to craftsmen.

First of ask, She starts by wrapping the sweet bean paste. Wrap the sweet bean paste with one hand, and it quickly transforms into a round.

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The final step is to add the patterns, but all you need is a wooden stick. Delicate and precise work is required. It only took a few minutes for each cake to be made, and the artistic cherry blossom confectionssweets that you can see in stores were being completed one after another.

2. I want to protect a culture whose people are decreasing in number | Chisato Takahashi

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Chisato Takahashi inherited the “Kyo-kanoko-shibori” technique from hergrandmother. I was not familiar with the name “Kyo-kanoko-shibori,” but it is a dyeing technique in which cloth is tied with thread, and is used in Japanese clothing such as Kimonos and Obi.

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Chisato has not yet created anything that can be called a work of art, but she seems to create the foundation of her work by steadily creating the “grains” that serve as the base.

By the way, even if you become a craftsman, it can take 1.5 to 2 years or more to complete the Kyo-kanoko-shibori work. Although it is time-consuming because it is done by hand without the use of machines, the attachment to the work that is created through steady work is immeasurable.

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And, the atelier is at home, so this time I went to her home and took some photos. They have started a brand called “Nagomi Koubou” and are exhibiting and demonstrating their products at exhibition halls. Chisato has never been on stage, but her immediate goal is to participate in the event!

Digging deeper into two young female craftsmen

Interview with two people who let us peek into the work site this time! We will introduce real voices about advantage, worthwhile, and goals to work.

Q. How did you learn about this job?

Asuka Japanese confectionery craftsman

I was a member of the tea ceremony club, and have been interested in the world of Japanese confections since high school. I jumped into this world without hesitation because I wanted to make everyone happy with the power of Japanese confection!

Chisato Takahashi tying craftsman

When I was in the 6th grade of elementary school, I went to stay at my grandmother’s house and she taught me pique! I learned how difficult and time-consuming this work is, and that there are not many successors. I decided to become a craftsman because I wanted to protect this culture, which would die out if I didn’t try to continue it.

Q. What makes you feel fulfilled?

Asuka Sakurai Japanese confectionery craftsman

Listening to the voices of our customers leads to a rewarding experience. In the Japanese confections class, I have the opportunity to interact with customers

, and I am able to notice things that I would not have noticed if I were making confections  at a factory!

Chisato Takahashi tying craftsman

I don’t have any major work to do at the training stage, but it’s a collection of small tasks, so I compared each “grain” one by one, and I was able to get closer to the work of my grandmotherwho I respect! The moment you feel that, it’s worth it.

Q. What is your dream for the future?

Asuka Sakurai Japanese confectionery craftsman

I want to make original confections. There are rules for Kyoto sweets that must be followed, but I want to create pieces that shows my individuality.

ChisatoTakahashi tying craftsman

I want to be able to qualify as a traditional craftsman! I want to be closer to my grandmother’s work, and someday I want to make Kimonos.

Enhance your charm at Kyoto’s popular beauty salon “snob”

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The hairdressers who styled these two wonderful craftsmen were the hairdressers of “snob,” which has stores mainly in Kyoto but also in Osaka and Shiga.

<Stylist> Chinatsu Murai x <Japanese confectionery craftsman> Asuka Sakurai

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The person who styled Japanese confectionery artisan Asuka was Chinatsu Murai, a stylist! She has been a hairdresser for 9 years, and her gentle and calm demeanor left an impression from start to finish.

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She tied her hair while she work, her hair was curled in the back and my bangs were long. Of course, this style suited her well, but she would make a major makeover.

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After washing her hair with shampoo, the cut begins immediately. Chinatsu is a stylist who specializes in styling to match Asuka’s frame, and he cuts her bangs boldly to match Asuka’s contours and atmosphere.

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A dignified and mature look with straight and crisp bangs. The atmosphere is completely different from before the treatment, and Sakurai’s new charm is now highlighted!

Asuka Sakurai Japanese confectionery craftsman

The stylist styled me in a different way than usual, and although I was a little bit shy, but look at this amazing finish!

Each job has its own charm, and the people involved put in a lot of effort, and I thought that they all share the same desire to make people happy.

I will continue to do my best without forgetting my original intention. thank you very much.

<Top Stylist/Deputy Manager> Yuma Katayama x <tie craftsman> Chisato Takahashi

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Yuma Katayama, deputy manager of “snob enVAmp”, was in charge of the second tie craftsman, Mr. Takahashi. A top stylist with 11 years of experience as a hairdresser. Chisato was a little nervous, but I was impressed by her careful treatment while relaxing her mind!

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Yuma specializes in short styles. Chisato’s hair was already short, so just trim it.

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If it’s long enough to touch your shoulders, it’s important to make sure the length is even. Yuma’s cutting skill was amazing…!

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Finally, curled it outward with curling tongs. Since her workspace is at home, She doesn’t usually wear makeup. She seemed nervous at first about her professional make-up, but her natural brightness kept her in a relaxed atmosphere from beginning to end.

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She usually wears glasses, but this time she took them off for a photo shoot. I was able to take a photo that takes advantage of her lively and charming personality while also giving off a mature and mature atmosphere!

Chisato Takahashi tying craftsman

It was a moment that I don’t usually get to experience, but going to a beauty salon and having my hair styled by a professional and being able to talk to them was a great inspiration for me! I want to go again!

Interview with “craftsmen” in the beauty industry

Q. What made you want to become a hairdresser?

Yuma Katayama Top stylist/deputy manager

It all started when I admired the wonderful hairdresser who worked at the beauty salon I went to when I was a junior high school student. From then on, her dream of becoming a hairdresser never wavered and she jumped into this world.

Chinatsu Murai stylist

I have been interested in the beauty industry since I was little because I used to style my sister’s hair. After graduating from high school, the only career path I could think of was beauty school!

Q. What was the most rewarding or pleased experience?

Yuma Katayama Top stylist/deputy manager

Being a hairdresser is a job where you spend a lot of time interacting with customers, compared to other service jobs, and it’s rewarding to feel like you’re sharing your life with them.

Chinatsu Murai stylist

This is when a new customer comes to your store through a customer referral! I was very happy that I got credibility from customers.

Q. Do you have any dreams for the future?

Yuma Katayama Top stylist/deputy manager

I want to be an exective officer or manager in “snob”! Right now, rather than being independent, I would like to be in a position where I can think about what I can do to make the company better.

Chinatsu Murai stylist

I would like to try taking pictures like this shooting! In the future, I am considering working in the US or the UK or maybe South Korea.

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