Matsumotos Corner Vol.6

Furin – Stay Cool with
the Sound of Wind Chimes

The hottest time in Japan is from late July to August. Foreigners say the summer in Japan, which is very humid, is extremely hot and difficult to spend. Since the days when there was no air conditioner, Japan has some wisdom on how to survive such a hot season. Among them, the most unique one is furin – wind chimes or bells.

Making shade with plants, sprinkling water, and creating paths for the wind in your house… all actually help lower the temperature. However, the sound of wind chimes does not have the effect of lowering the temperature. Instead, by listening to the high and clear tone, you can calm your heart which may be knocked down by the heat. The origin of furin was a fortune-telling tool in China. In Japan it became a bronze bell that was hung in Buddhist temples eaves. Its sound is believed to ward off evil spirits, and later people began to hang glass and ironware wind chimes in the summer.

Eventually, the furin became a tradition to bring people the real feeling of summer in Japan. I hardly hear the sound of furin in the urban city now. However, the scene with the gentle breeze and cool sound of furin in a summer countryside, still remains as my original summer landscape for Japan. By the way, the furin with the Amabie image is very popular!