• Crime & Courts

Signboard Stolen at Kosetsuken, Calligraphy Store Favored by Tanizaki and Mushakoji

Photo courtesy of Kousetsuken
The brush-shaped signboard of Kousetsuken

A historic calligraphy supply store called Kousetsuken had a wooden signboard in the shape of a brush, passed down for nearly a century, which has now been stolen. The shop, located in Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City, was established in the late Edo period and became a popular haunt for literary figures such as Junichiro Tanizaki and Mushakoji Saneatsu. The local police are treating it as a theft and are conducting an investigation.

The signboard was noticed as missing at around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. A plastic box, believed to have been used as a step, was left nearby. Terumichi Nagaoka, the 65-year-old fifth-generation owner of the store, reported the incident to the police on the same day.

The signboard has been popular among customers for many years, with some people even taking commemorative photos holding newly purchased brushes alongside it. It serves as part of the logo printed on the store’s paper bags. Weighing around 3 kilograms, the signboard was usually hung in front of the store at opening and brought inside after closing.

In July, there was also a case of a wooden signboard being stolen at Baiyoushoin, a Buddhist scripture publishing house established in the early Edo period, located about 40 meters to the east.