Kamenoko Tawashi Around the beginning of the 20th century, Shouzaemon Nishio “invented” a mat to wipe shoes made of hemp palm bristols firmly bunched to thick wire. Little did he know, a similar product already existed in the U.K. This prevented him from obtaining a patent. Not long after this, he saw his mother cleaning the house with a bent piece of one of his mats. Soon after, he designed and marketed the scrubber based off of his mother’s makeshift tool. In 1907, he founded the company: Kamenoko (scrubber) Tawashi (young turtle.) The design has changed very little after over a century and remains the quintessential Japanese cleaning tool.