Mr Sato treats his skin to a beauty product that’s surprisingly painful. 

Our Japanese-language reporter Mr Sato has been reviewing his daily necessities lately, questioning whether the products he uses every day are really any good. After being blown away by an expensive set of high-end nail clippers, he’s now interested in exploring more of Japan’s esteemed handcrafted products, so this time he went on a mission to find something to replace his old wash towel in the bathroom.

After making a few enquiries into the best shop for his needs, he was directed to a traditional store called Kanaya Burashi in Tokyo’s historic Asakusa district. Founded in 1914, this store has two branches in Asakusa and one each in Kappabashi, Kamakura, and Yokohama, and each one is filled with specially made brushes of all descriptions.

Mr Sato was surprised by the variety of brushes available, and when he asked staff to recommend a bathing product for him, they introduced him to the “Healthy Scrubber“, priced at 1,980 yen (US$13.14).

The brush was made from sisal, a plant belonging to the Agave genus, and because it’s durable and water-resistant, it’s often used for doormats, fishing ropes, and cat scratching posts. Although Mr Sato was slightly nervous about the tough-looking bristles, staff assured him it was relatively soft and suitable for beginners, so he purchased it.

Mr Sato usually uses a scrubbing towel in the shower that helps to froth up the soap on his skin so he’s used to covering his body with foam to feel clean. However, after his first night trying the Healthy Scrubber, he now wonders if he might’ve been doing things wrong the whole time, because this brush doesn’t create bubbles at all.

Aside from not creating bubbles, the bristles hurt when he used the brush on his skin. Mr Sato is no stranger to pain, though, so after a little perseverance he grew to enjoy the sensation, likening it to the good type of pain you get with a strong massage. It had a much better massaging effect than his old wash towel, especially when used around his neck, arms, groin and ankles, as the bristles helped to increase blood flow and stimulate the lymph glands, relieving tight muscles and warming his body from the inside out.

▼ Mr Sato showing us how to use the brush, with his clothes on, because nobody needs to see him naked.

The rope was handy for getting the brush to scrub his back, but unfortunately it didn’t alleviate the pain of the sharp bristles. It was kind of like an ancient torture device, so until he gets used to the bristly sensation on his skin, Mr Sato reckons he might use his body towel first, followed by a light brushing, or the other way around, to ease himself into this new style of washing.

While he may not have been immediately sold on the product like he was with the 30,000-yen comb he recently bought in Asakusa, he’s glad he bought the brush and is looking forward to incorporating it into his bathing routine. He sure has come a long way since the good ol’ days, when bathing in fake money was his idea of luxury.

Shop information
Kanaya Burashi Asakusa Shin-Nakamise-dori store / かなや刷子 浅草新仲見世通り店
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Asakusa 1-28-3
Open 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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