Welcome to Kashiwagi Art Foundry, a shop specializing in making metal-casting instruments with “Sahari” technique. Enjoy the sound for your ears and your soul. Let’s take a look at their shop and hand-made goods!
Kashiwagi Art Foundry
Kashiwagi Art Foundry was build from Muromachi Period (1336-1573). This atelier develop a unique metal casting (imono) technique called “Sahari”. This technique mainly using copper alloy and tin for making the instruments. Sahari technique only exist in two places, one is at Kyōto, the other one is at Odawara, Kashiwagi Art Foundry (Kashiwagi Bijutsu Imono Kenkyūjo).
When you step into the shop, you will smell the copper alloy in process. Other notable thing is the harmonious echo from the bells when the wind blow, a delightful sound. This enchanting sound from Kashiwagi instruments is the one that Kurosawa Akira (a famous Japanese movie director) use in one of his movie, Tsubaki Sanjūrō (1962).
Bowl or Bell?
Do you know what thing is in that picture? Seems like a usual black bowl, isn’t it? I also thought it were bowls used as tableware to eat rice or so. But suddenly, the shop owner took the little stick, hit the bowl lightly, and then I realized its not a bowl! I personally think you can only experience the real beauty of this bell (yes, its actually some sort of bell) by hearing it first-hand.
This globular shape bell is called orin and usually can be found at a Butsudan (Buddhist altar). Orin sound can lasted for a minute, even more, when you tinkle it lightly with the little stick. It produces a nice relaxing and healing sound. The shop owner tell me that people who like hearing the sound of orin are increasing, so they sell the beautiful instrument and you can buy it even though you are not Buddhist.
Other Artistic Metal Goods
I am pretty sure everyone will find it bothersome to bring orin everywhere for hearing the sound. That’s why there is another type of products, the bell necklace. The necklace has a little cute bell that will ring as you walk. A little sponge ball is als provided for you to tuck in the necklace to stop the chime when needed in silent place or an important meeting.
People who like Japanese tea ceremony (sadō) can also buy the tea ceremony utensil sell in this shop. Other goods are the wind chime with pretty Japanese paper attached to decorate your house and bells with various sizes. Small bells can be used as keychain or phone strap. Big bells can also be house decoration (and of course for the sake of the beautiful sound). Last but not least, there are brass with okame face shape and bells with various designs.
Make It Yourself!
Hearing the sound must be entertaining. How about you make it yourself? Although the event only held once in a year, you can experience making a wind chime with Sahara technique around the first week of August. Right now there is no exact date yet, but if you are interested please contact the Kashiwagi Art Foundry.
The making event is available not only for children, adults can join too! It will be an interesting new experience and nice to exercise your creativity (can you see the Kumamon shape bell?). The pictures below are some of wind chime made by participant in the making event.
|Kashiwagi Art Foundry (Sahari Gallery Narimonokan)
|3-1-22, Nakamachi, Odawara-shi, Kanagawa, 250-0005, Japan
|Saturday (2nd, 4th, 5th), Sunday, and Holidays
|Around 15 minutes walk from Odawara station east exit
* Please make sure the info you see is the latest in advance.