- About Yonoya
Yonoya is a traditional Japanese boxwood comb shop. We look forward to your visit.
The traditional Japanese boxwood comb shop, Yonoya, was originally established 300 years ago in the second year of Kyoho (1717 in the Western calendar). Originally located in modern-day Bunkyo ward, Tokyo, the shop was passed down as Yonoya in its present Asakusa location during the early Taisho era (1910s). This was at the height of the Genroku culture era, a time of remarkable economic, cultural and artistic advancement in Japan.
Yet at the time, combs were not commonly used. Only hairdresser specialists for women and professional men's stylists really had a need for them, and Yonoya had its beginnings as a wholesale enterprise selling combs to these businesses.
As Japan approached the age of Westernization during the Meiji era (1868–) traditional Japanese coiffure was replaced with a permeation of Western styles, including a bun at the back of the head or short hair. This was partially due to a ban of samurai chonmage (topknot) hairstyles enforced at this time.
This marked the beginning of an era in which people began to style their own hair. With this development, Yonoya began to sell combs to individual buyers.
Located on Denboin Dori Avenue in central Asakusa, Yonoya is dedicated to the wonderful traditional art of Japanese boxwood combs, even today in the Reiwa era of 2019 and beyond.
「Yonoya is filled with boxwood combs in many different sizes. Creating each comb takes a great amount of time and labor—multiple years of process and time are imbued into each and every piece.
That said, Yonoya is not a difficult shop to approach. We welcome first time visitors and are happy to help find the comb that best suits you, explains methods for daily care of your comb and knowledge and techniques for pairing your comb with a traditional Japanese outfit.
Please refrain from bringing outside food and drink into our shop. Thank you.
Yonoya Boxwood Comb Shop has existed through the generations since the Edo era. As boxwood comb artisans, our foremost concern is never changing the methods and traditions that were passed down to us.
This sounds simple, but the perception of time passing has changed dramatically since then. We strive to continue building on our tradition.
Preserving something unchanged is similar to the art of creation. We reconsider every process leading up to the creation of the boxwood comb in its final form. The artisan professionals that handle our carving and lacquering, for example, eventually change with the generations, which causes subtle nuances in the end product. We must ensure this process does not put any blemish on the Yonoya name.
On the other hand, we are aware we are also laying the foundation for a new generation. In an era when old value is being steadily forgotten, we believe that the value Yonoya offers will be understood and received by the next generation, as long as we do our part in communicating it.
Boxwood combs are ancient, but they might be new to you. We hope they change your perception of what a comb can be, and we'll do everything possible to make sure you understand their value, even in the face of a changing era. Thank you.