Kiya 木屋

Since 1792, Tokyo, Japan

 

Kiya is a company that manufactures hardware such as knives and cutlery in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. A long-established store founded in the middle of the Edo period, it is known as “Kiya of cutlery”. Known for their professional kitchen knives, they also produce general hardware such as cutlery, pots & pans, and various scissors for gardening.

The first Kiya store opened in 1573 by the original founder Kyube Hayashi, who served to Toyotomi family as a tradesman of medicine materials in Osaka. Then Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa invited his brother to Edo, and he opened a store in Honcho (Tokyo). The brother’s store was separated from the Osaka branch, so he separated a Chinese character of his family name(Hayashi, 林) into two parts(Ki, 木 and 木), then he named his store Kiya (木屋). This store traded in fancy goods, Japanese ware and candles, and remained open for centuries. Then in 1792, after working his way up through the company, Iisuke Kato received permission to establish a new store with the same name, “Kiya”, with both stores operating next to each other. The new Kiya store traded in cutlery and other merchandise not being sold at the original store and continues to do so to this day. 

In the great picture scroll Kidaisyoran (1805), you can see the Kiya stores as they were at that time, with their original trademark symbol printed on the shop curtain. This trademark is the same one which is still used today, over two hundred years later.

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