There are no words to describe how I felt before, during and after my encounter with Hakuhodo’s team. I have to call it a fairy tale, the sensations are way too intense to feel like a real moment in my life. I know some of you can understand my emotion because you know me, you know the depth of my passion, my love for brushes and my admiration for the craftsmen hidden behind them.
This is how my Hakuhodo fairy tale started…
I sent an email to the Hakuhodo USA branch asking them if it was possible to visit their Japan manufacture. I immediately got an exciting reply from Stephanie ensuring me that they would help me to schedule a tour.
Already after that first email I was totally crazy nervous imagining the tour, the meeting with them, watching them at work was a dream but I did not know it would be even more magical than in any dream I had !
Stephanie went beyond expectations, she sent me loads of emails with amazing recommendations about Japan and she coordinated my visit. She also told me that since I was considered by them as a “VIP” -another reason to feel even more nervous – they would directly pick me up at my hotel in Hiroshima.
My tour was scheduled for the morning of the 29th of May, I had to wait in the lobby and as planned Mr Nakata, a staff from Hakuhodo, arrived at 9am and drove me to their manufacture. During the car trip I was looking around, asking him a lot of questions since he spoke english, I hope I did not bother him too much but I was so happy to be able to talk to someone ! I was also trying to keep talking because I was so nervous that I thought I would bug and go forever silent at any moment.
It took us around 40 minutes to arrive, it’s in the middle of nowhere and not close to the other manufactures in Kumano, if you don’t get a taxi or have someone drop you there it’s going to be very difficult to locate them. When we got there we took our shoes off and we entered the reception where their shop is also located. There are approx 10 people working there I believe. All the employees greeted to me with such a huge warm smile ! It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with each and everyone of them.
Unfortunately I don’t know the names of all of them, maybe you have spoken to Miki by email (she is holding the Hakuhodo poster in front of me), close to me is the General Manager, Mr Ko Takamoto.