After demobilization, he made use of his skills and started to make glass bottles in the ruins of the fire-devastated city. Due to the shortage of goods, he was deluged with large quantities of orders. He set up a workshop, employed lots of factory workers, and acquired enormous wealth. However, his mother was the victim of financial fraud after the war, and as the oldest son and guarantor he lost his fortune, and on top of that, his workshop was destroyed by fire. He became separated from his mother and younger siblings, and with his wife and infant child his life was in a very deep crisis.

 

He gained the support of a wholesale store, and started making wind chimes again in the corner of another person’s factory. While he was steadily supplying the wholesale store, he also personally worked zealously as a street vendor at festivals and temple festivals, resolutely rebuilding his business with Edo Furin (wind chimes).

 

As times changed, the future of the traditional craft was not looking bright, as he was completely dependent on the wholesale store. He decided to set out on a path of handling the whole process, from the development of the goods to their manufacture and sales. At the time of the Tokyo Olympics, there was a boom in the popularity of folk craft. He organized together with other craftsmen and negotiated with department stores, and at their prime they managed to have exhibition sales in sixty department stores throughout the country.

 

He has always treasured his hometown, and he has provided a presentation place for craftsmen, hands-on learning experiences for children, and has even been involved with local government. He has also served as president of the Edogawa-ku Traditional Craft Association for over twenty years, as he has diligently tried to popularize Japanese traditional culture overseas too. He appreciates the support he received during all of his troubles, so he contributes to the area and the industry.

 

The Edo Furin are a product of a life that has been full of ups and downs. Through their beautiful appearance and with their unique individual sounds that are a remnant of Edo, they help calm and soothe people.

 

Yoshiharu Shinohara

Born in Tokyo in 1924. Graduated from Mukojima Commercial High School in 1943. Received an Honorable Citizen Award in 2004. Received the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology Award in 2006. The hand-crafted “Edo Furin,” made from hand-blown glass and painted decoration inside, is a unique brand that is now only manufactured by Shinohara Furin Honpo and his second son, Masayoshi.

Translation: Media Research, Inc.

Spirit and Spine
‘Kitohone’

created by
THE SPIRIT AND SPINE
CREATIVE FORCE,Tokyo

project direction
Gaku Okubo (ISUKE INC.)
photography
Yoshitomo Tanaka (Vivot)
site design
ISUKE INC. and ICA
title calligraphy
Kenryo Hara (Kikkokai)