The Legendary Japanese Needle
The history of these needles goes back to the 11th century when the first Japanese needle was produced in Harima (Hyogo prefecture) under the name Harima Bari (Bari=Needle). When needles also started being produced by craftsmen in Kyoto in the 14th century, it’s believed that this lead to the first traditional Misuya Bari needles. In Edo era (1603-1868), Misuya Bari became so popular nationwide that the word “Misuya bari” was referred to as “Finest needle”. Although there were many craftsmen producing these special needles during this period, their number decreased significantly over the past centuries.Currently there are only 2 Misuya Bari shops left in Japan. (Third one Ogawa-Tomosaburo-Shōten closed just recently), both located in Kyoto. Our needles are from the shop Misuya Chubei founded in 1819 and the other Misuya shop is called Sanjo-Honke Misuya-bari and was founded in 1655.