Traditional Brass Bell Crafting with Yoshinori
  • Takaoka, Toyama, Japan
  • 20 hours over 4 days

Traditional Brass Bell Crafting with Yoshinori

Learn the 400-year-old craft of making Buddhist rin bells or the modern art of suzugami from one of ten remaining craftsmen in all of Japan. Explore the peaceful coastal town of Takaoka, Japan, with its rich craft heritage, stunning temples, and other-worldly seafood.

    Pricing

    One Guest
    USD $1495
    Additional guest(s) (max 4)
    USD $585

    Accommodation

    One Guest
    USD $445
    Additional guest(s)
    USD $195
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    Meet the Artist

    Yoshinori is a 4th generation master, and one of ten remaining craftsmen in entire Japan capable of making Buddhist Rin bells. As a craftsman, he is inspired by sadō (tea ceremony) and its minimalism. The tools and movements used in tea ceremony are based around what is necessary but maintains beauty and elegance in its design. He tries to apply the same principle to his own work. Although bell-making is a practice steeped in tradition, he is constantly trying to modernize the craft by appropriating the skills used in bell-making to other mediums. You can see it in his modern suzugami plates and bowls where sheets of tin are hammered to become so malleable that they can be constantly reshaped. His pieces have been sought out by Nobu in Tokyo, Japan, and El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, among others. Not to miss, you'll also develop a keen sense of hearing making those bells!

    VAWAA Includes:

    • Making Rin Buddhist bell and/or suzugami plates.
    • Hammering metal (brass, tin).
    • Smoothing and shaping the bell using various tools (grinder, hammer, etc.)
    • Learning how to create the three sounds of the Orin: "Kan," "Otsu," and "Mon".
    • Fine-tuning the sound of the bell (with assistance by Yoshinori and his practiced ear).
    • Visiting a metal manufacturer to do workshops.
    • Visiting a temple to meet a monk and use the bell.
    • Visiting another traditional craft studio (lacquerware).
    • Relaxing at a meditation class at a nearby temple.
    • Local sushi, seafood, sake and craft beer.
    • Your own handcrafted rin bell and/or suzugami plates.

    Stay at Yoshinori's

    Stay in an old modernized Japanese house with your private, tatami-lined room. Your host is a close friend of Yoshinori, who is knowledgeable about the traditional crafts, food culture, and history of Takaoka who will be a great resource for curious guests! House is located close to the studio and center of Takaoka. Includes: 4 rooms (1 bed, 3 futons), private bathroom for guest use, kitchen.

    Explore Takaoka, Toyama

    Takaoka is a city on the coast of Japan's Honshu Island. Since the birth of Takaoka copperware 400 years ago, the city has provided Japan with 95% of all bells and statues used in Buddhist temples, especially those cast in bronze. The skills in casting and dyeing possessed by the craftsmen were so highly-valued that even during wartime, when other industries’ use of metal was restricted, Takaoka craftsmen were unaffected. The Great Buddha of Takaoka, one of three great Buddhas in Japan, exemplifies the skills from this city and continues to make it famous— a must stop.

    Additional Details

    Guests do not need to practice Buddhism to learn the process of rin bell-making. 


    Children and elderly people are welcome if they have enough stamina to hammer for seven hours per day. Otherwise, you can also shorten the hours per day and expand the number of days to 5 days instead.


    Good seasons to visit Japan are in spring, to experience the nation's famed cherry blossom season, and fall, for beautiful foliage, plus Takaoka Craft Ichiba-machi and Takaoka Craft Exhibition are also held in the city end of September each year.


    It's best to avoid winter holiday and New Years (Dec. 24 - Jan. 7) as many businesses close.


    This VAWAA lasts 4 days and includes 1 day off. It is also available for a longer duration, up to 5 days. If interested in extending your time, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

    Yoshinori's Availability 4 days