Founded over a century ago, Hiyoshiya is the only remaining manufacturer of traditional Wagasa umbrellas in Kyoto. Introduced from China around 1,000 years ago, umbrellas made of Washi paper and bamboo were initially used as protection against evil spirits and as a symbol of nobility. Over the years, dedicated artisans developed a mechanism to easily open and close umbrellas, gradually making them more compact and convenient for everyday use as protection against the sun and rain. However, along with the modernization of Japan, traditional industries like Wagasa have fallen into decline.
Dedicated to passing down tradition through the continuous process of innovation, Hiyoshiya aims to keep Japanese umbrellas relevant to modern life in the form of designer products, which embody an artful combination of heritage and the latest design sensibilities. Starting with a line of umbrella-inspired light fixtures, Hiyoshiya has also launched a collaborative interior design service that integrates a variety of traditional crafts seamlessly into modern architecture.