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“Tokyo Shoko Hakurane” (1885)

Isehan-Honten Museum of Beni

Isehan-Honten Museum of Beni

Kyoto was long the main area of beni production. Beni production in Edo started to prosper in the late Edo Period (late 19th century). Isehan-honten was established at Kobuna-cho, Nihonbashi, in 1825. Founder Hanemon Sawada started his own shop after apprenticing at a beni and oshiroi (face powder) wholesaler in Toriabura-cho, Nihonbashi, for about 20 years. The shop was called Iseya-Hanemon, and it used the name Isehan.
This is a picture depicting Isehan-honten in the Meiji Period.
Isehan-honten had a shop at 1-8 Kobuna-cho, Nihombashi-ku, during the Meiji Period. Shop space set aside to sell beni can be seen at the front of this picture, and there was space to make beni, called the beni-ba, at the back of the shop. The note in the picture indicates that hamigaki benizome-ko (toothpaste powder with beni) was sold wholesale, and nishikie kashibukuro (paper bags of sweets upon which ukiyo-e was printed and used beni as paint) was sold at the shop in addition to lip rouge.

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  • Title: “Tokyo Shoko Hakurane” (1885)

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