”Kido Ito, Suzukazumi” ”Sumi” ink that has as many colors as there are people.

”Kido Ito, Suzukazumi” ”Sumi”
inkthat has as many colors as there are people.

It takes 100 days to make ”Sumi” Ink

It is said that the history of Suzukazumi goes back to the beginning of Heian Period. We met with Kido Ito who is a Traditional Artist making ”Sumi” Ink by hand which is a tradition that has been passed along.
Making ”Sumi” ink is a heavy duty work unlike what people would imagine. First of all you have to use the whole body to knead the glue that is made from leather and bone from deer and cow and spices to the main ingredient, soot.
Nakata holds one of the ”Sumi” ink that has just been kneaded.
”It feels like jelly”, says Nakata.
They put the jelly like thing into a wooden mold and after it is dried, it is then polished to get the glaze. It takes about 100 days to make one ”Sumi” ink.

There are many varieties to ”Sumi” ink

It is interesting to know that there are many varieties of ”Sumi” ink. Nakata was surprised to know that and asked Ito, ”There are so many varieties of ”Sumi” ink”. Ito replies, ”we make about 300 different varieties in our place.”

That is of course due to the taste of different people. Some people prefer solid black while some prefer blurry ink. To respond to those needs, he made so many varieties to test.
When people think of ”Sumi” ink, they automatically imagine it to be black. However, are 300 different shades. Ito admired his father as his master and took over the 3rd generation Kido name. In fact he remains the only artist who can make Suzukazumi now. In order not to terminate the history of Suzukazumi that has been continuing for more than 1000 years, he is pouring his energy to train his successor as well as creating his own ”Sumi” ink.


YK Shinseido
5-5-15, Jike, Suzuka, Mie Prefecture
URL http://www.suzukazumi.co.jp/