The Kashiwagi wind chimes got featured in Akira Kurosawa's movie "Red Beard".
Kurosawa spent months searching for 'Japan's most beautiful sounding wind chime' and is said to have "screamed with excitement" when he came across the Odawara chimes.
The well-known casting industry of the Japanese city Odawara dates back all the way to the Tembun Era (1532 - 1555) when Yamada Jirozaemon opens the first foundry upon his arrival from what is now Osaka, in 1534. Casting products were in high demand at this time due to the many civil wars in that era.
The Kashiwagi family, who held a subordinate position from one of the most important families at that time, the Okubo family, moved to Odwara in 1686, where the late Harumitsu Kashiwagi opened the Kashiwagi Art Foundry. He specialized in Odawara Imono's (cast metal) two main materials; brass and Sahari. The first one exists of copper and zinc, whereas the Sahari is a complicated mix of copper and at least 20% tin. This mixture creates a hard, yet fragile chime, that creates a beautiful, unique lingering.
When Jirozaemon's descendants left Odawara, the Kashiwagi family purchased what was left of their business, which allowed them to tremendously grow their techniques and line-up, and form a foundation to the company they run today.
Kashiwagi Art Foundry has always focused on objects that produce sounds - and is therefore one of the best makers of bells, singing bowls and wind chimes.
Their products can be traced back in various prestigious settings, such as the hand bell for the chairman of the National Diet, the gong in the Shinjuku Imperial Palace, and the wind chimes used in the movie Red Beard, from Akira Kurosawa, who particularly searched for "Japan's most beautiful sounding wind bell"!
Teruyuki Kashiwagi, the youngest- and last generation of the family is one of the very few people left mastering the Kashiwagi style art. He is solely responsible for designing and producing each item and does this from his atelier in Odawara where temperature rises to far beyond 40C in summer time with a traditional furnance of 1000C.
He hopes to spread the beauty and uniqueness of his family's legacy throughout the world and leave a "happy and deep impression" through their art.
Teru KASHIWAGI keeps the 400 years family tradition of handmade bells alive.
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