Traditional Craft men & women in Taito city

Tenugui [ Hand Towels ]

Kawakami Masahiro

Mr. Masahiro Kawakami is a dyed picture tenugui hand towel craftsman who runs Fujiya with his father, Mr. Chihiro Kawakami.

From a very young age Mr. Masahiro Kawakami grew up watching his grandfather and father, Mr. Chihiro Kawakami, both of whom are dyed picture tenugui hand towel craftsmen. He began helping when he was a school child. When his father and grandfather decided to hold a joint exhibition they also included some of his work, creating an exhibition that included 3 generations. The moment he looked at a tenugui hand towel covered in a snowman pattern he had designed he decided to become a dyed picture tenugui hand towel craftsman as well.

Mr. Masahiro Kawakami’s one regret is that his grandfather passed away suddenly before they could open the exhibition that would include the work of all three generations. The three of them never got to see the exhibition together.

“I feel my work is worthwhile when customers buy the tenugui hand towels that I designed. I’m selling in the shop everyday so I know what has been sold and what is popular. The craftsman’s name isn’t printed on the tenugui hand towel so the customers don’t know, but I feel very happy when they choose one of my designs.”

“Recently, about half of the customers who come to the shop, located in Asakusa, are foreign tourists. Designs showing Japanese culture, such as Omikoshi (portable shrines) from Sanja Matsuri (a festival held in May in Asakusa) and Koi Nobori (carp streamers) seem to be the most popular.” Mr. Masahiro Kawakami said.

Dyed Picture Tenugui Hand Towel – Fujiya

Address: (Tokyo) Taito, Asakusa 2-2-15

Telephone: 03-3841-2283

Hours: 10am – 6pm

Holidays: Thursdays