This fall 2017, Koyudo has released the state of art powder makeup brush “Yoshiki” with special “Saibikoho 細微光峰” goat hair. But what exactly is Saibikoho, and what makes it so special so that it would be used for a brush that bears the name of the founder of the KOYUDO?
SAIBIKOHO – The King of Goat Hair
While the SAIKOHO “細光峰” is more commonly known as the highest quality goat hair, the Saibikoho is even higher in rank and softer than the Saikoho. This is because they are a carefully chosen selection from the pile of Saikoho hair. The longest, the softest and the best hair is picked from the pile of Saikoho hair by an expert.
Saikoho hair is taken from the neck & chest area of a goat. These can only be taken from white male mountain goat with straight hair from Jiangnan, China. Its softness and light touch can only be compared to the squirrel brush, yet Saikoho hair has the resilience and the durability of the goat.
To know more about the Saibikoho hair, we’d have to dive into the history of brush making in China. The history of the Chinese brush has speculated to date back to almost 6,000 years ago from traces of the brush found in pottery and stains in artifacts. The art of making calligraphy brush flourished and treasured by emperors from Southern and Northern dynasties as a “Four Treasure of the Study” along with Ink, paper, and Inkstone.
The meaning of Saibikoho’s name
So what does Saibikoho stands for? What does the Kanji mean?
As with its origin, the name Saibikoho came from China and adopted in Japan.
Used for calligraphy brushes
Breakdown of the Meaning of the Saibikoho “細微光峰” Kanji.
細 Sai = Thin, narrow
微 Bi = Small, fine, little
光 Ko = Light
鋒 Ho = The tip of the bristle/hair
So the Saibikoho describe hair that is long, incredibly fine and clear enough to be called as light at the tip of the hair.
There are roughly 15 kinds of goat hair. Each has distinctive characteristic
細微光峰 = SAIBIKOHO
Saibikoho brushes are on the par with squirrel hair for the softness. Some say that Saibikoho is softer than grey or red squirrel hair.
細光峰 = SAIKOHO
The softest hair of the goat
Soft like squirrel hair
Great for sensitive skin
粗光峰 = SOKOHO
The most common type of goat hair. The most of the time, Sokoho hair makeup brush only get a label “Goat”.
細長鋒 = SAICHOHO
This is quite similar to SOKOHO, but little rough. Long hair from the back of a goat. Good hair to form a full shape.
白尖峰 = HAKUTOTSUPO
Lesser quality compared to the goat hair types above, but nonetheless good material. Hakusenpo hairs are from either back or the belly of the goat, and they are rather short and strong. Great choice for quick application since it picks up a good amount of product. The highlight, foundation, face-washing Brush.
黄尖峰 = OTOTSUHO
similar to Hakusenpo, but less in quality. Commonly found in an affordable brush set labelled with “Goat” description in a material.
Saibikoho as a Makeup Brushes
Even for the established company like Koyudo and Chikuhodo, it is very hard to acquire Saibikoho hair. Only the handful of hair can be taken from one goat, and thus the price of these brushes tends to be considerably high.
The brushes made with Saibikoho are always expensive and often times found as a Limited Edition (LE). Koyudo is known to produce those limited brushes every few years, and in 2017 they released YOSHIKI.