Furin (or Fuurin) essentially translates to ‘wind bell’ and describes the Japanese wind chime. Just like how eating an ice cream cone may make you nostalgic for summertime, the sound of a furin sends a Japanese person to their happy place in summer.
Widely known and accepted as the symbol of summer in Japan, when anyone hears the gentle ringing sounds of the wind chime, they become immediately washed over with a refreshing feeling.
It may be a cultural thing, but many Japanese people insist that hearing and seeing the furin sway in the wind actually makes them feel cooler and more relaxed – a must for the balmy Japanese summer nights!
If you’ve visited Japan during the warm months, you may have seen and heard Japanese wind chimes hanging outside places of residences. These days, they’re normally quite cheerful and bright.
What’s A Furin?
So what exactly is a furin? To start, we’ll give you a basic description of what it looks like and consists of, however, note that there exist thousands of versions of wind chimes in Japan today.
A furin is a Japanese wind chime that is consists of three main parts: the ‘gaiken’ which is the bell- or bowl-shaped exterior, the ‘zetsu’ which is the clapper inside the gaiken, and the ‘tanzaku’ which are the colourful strips of paper that hang down and flutter in the wind.
When the breeze catches and moves the tanzaku, the zetsu will chime inside the gaiken, producing the gentle ringing sounds that everyone loves.
You will likely see these hanging outside of people’s homes, either near the windows or along the balcony.
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