Made of iron or clay, the furin wind-bells were originally used at Buddhist temples, because it was believed that their sound wards off evil spirits.
With the foundation of the Nagasaki port in 1570, the Portuguese brought to Japan the technique of making glass which became known in Japan as Nagasaki vidro (from “vidro", the Portuguese word for glass). Later, after a master from Nagasaki demonstrated the vidro technique in Edo, someone had the idea of making furin bells from glass… and so, until today, the glass furin are known as “Edo-style". The production price was substantially lower compared to other materials and the glass paintings made them a lot more attractive to the customers, so the glass “Edo-style” furin quickly became very popular…
Today, during hot summer days, the furin can be heard everywhere in Japan, being considered a mental method to make the heat more bearable, its clincking sound announcing a refreshing breeze…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: