”Furin wind chimes Artisan, Yoshiharu Shinohara” Creating Edo Furin wind chimes

”Furin wind chimes Artisan, Yoshiharu Shinohara”
Creating Edo Furin wind chimes

A summer icon, Furin wind chimes

A summer icon, ”furin” wind chimes. The soft sound has a soothing effect. Most Japanese are familiar with this image. The gentle chime heard by the window may just be an ”Edo Furin” wind chime with its clear round shape.
Originally, they were wind bells derived from China. However, unlike the ”furin” wind chimes of today, they were called ”futaku”, bells made of bronze. The Chinese wind chime was used for fortune telling, made a loud banging sound, and was used to ward off evil in Japan. You can sometimes still see them in temples. The glass version appeared around the year 1700. Using glass from Nagasaki, they became popular in Edo and Osaka.

The Person who named ”Edo Furin”

After the Meiji period, glass manufacturing started in Japan enabling commoners to hang ”furin” wind chimes in their homes.
The wind chimes were given the name ”Edo Furin” around 1965. We interviewed Yoshiharu Shinohara, the ”godfather” of Edo Furin”.
””Furin” wind chime shops were located all around the country in North Kyushu, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo.” Yoshiharu Shinoharu is the 2nd generation succeeding his father, and is the Chairman at Shinohara Furin Honpo. He still continues to blow glass with his son, Hiroshi. He was born in Mukojima and was born into this world. He helped out with the family business while young, served in the army, and after the war when materials were in short supply, he continued making ”furin” wind chimes by collecting glass-blowing materials. When the wholesaler went out of business, he hung ”furin” wind chimes on a board, carried it across his shoulders and sold them door to door. Later he named the ”furin” wind chimes made in Tokyo, ”Edo Furin”. Soon department stores offered to sell them. He held demonstrations, and they became so popular that they spread throughout the country. He never let the fire of the Edo Furin wane.

Transition of the ”furin” drawings

The current image of an Edo Furin wind chime is a transparent bubble with a picture drawn on it, but originally, the glass used to be red. Images of treasure boats and pine trees were drawn on the red glass ”furin”. On the other side was a picture of a bushel of rice.
”Bushels of rice were a commoner’s dream. Let’s buy a bushel of rice when we get rich, people would say. My generation began drawing pictures of coins. My father would be 110 if he were alive, and he would turn over in his grave seeing the ”furin” wind chimes of today.” he chuckled.
Recent ”furin” depict a variety of images from greeting cats and hydrangeas to scenes from around Tokyo. When Shinohara turns 110, perhaps it will be his turn to be surprised.


Shinohara Furin Honpo Ltd.
4-22-5 Minami Shinozakimachi Edogawa-ku Tokyo
URL http://www.edofurin.com/