[Picture of Dye House] from "Picture Book: Amusements of Edo" (Ehon Azuma Asobi Kouya no Zu)
Compiled by Asakusa-an and painted by Katsushika Hokusai 1802 (Kyōwa 2) Tokyo Shiryō Collection 025-25

This is a scene of a "kōya" painted by Katsushika Hokusai, a painter representing the Edo period. Konya originaly referred to craftsmen called "konkaki" who specialized in indigo dye, but in the Edo period, all dye houses were called kōya.

Kanda Kōya-machi (Dyers' town) still exists near the current JR Kanda Station. During the Edo period, this neighborhood was lined with dye houses.
The town name of Kōya-machi can be often found in the former castle towns. That is because places to live in castle towns during the Edo period were generally designated by occupation. A large number of people operated Kōya (dye houses) due to the spread of cotton.

anda Kōya-machi was special among other Kōya-machi across the country and also a trendsetting town. Residents of Edo extolled the towels and yukata (unlined cotton kimono) dyed in this town. The items dyed outside of Kōya-machi were even referred to as "not the best" by some people. Fabric that was hung on a clothes-drying platform fluttering in the wind was one of the popular images of Edo.