Takaoka city in Toyama prefecture is known as a production area of metal casting where they have 90 percent of the market share in the production of metal products for Buddhist rites in Japan. It was here that Yamaguchi Kyujo Co., Ltd. was founded in 1907 and while continuing wholesale and planning of traditional Buddhist objects, the company has also been developing unique products focusing on the sound of “Orin” (a type of bell), which is originally a part of the Buddhist altar fittings. The current president, Mr. Toshio Yamaguchi has been pushing forward with the development of a new style of Orin which can be used as a lifestyle product with the wish of establishing a new genre of items for daily life beyond their ritual function.
The foundation of casting molten metal is a fight against fire. Having exceptional skills and physical fitness are necessary. Yamaguchi Kyujo has steadily raised the traditional skills of metal casting. In order to achieve the rich sound of Orin, excellent techniques such as “scuffing” and “polishing” are required besides casting works. Also, various additional techniques such as coloring, plating and engraving are applied to create a variety of Orin.
Their efforts resulted in the launch of a brand, “Kyujo Orin” in 2010 which offers various use of Orin, such as door bells and bell instruments. In that same year, the company exhibited their new brand during the Tokyo International Gift Show for the first time and they received the grand prize in the Craft Design Award. The exhibition had created opportunities to expand their sales channels to department stores and lifestyle shops that could not be obtained through the usual distribution network for ritual objects. In 2016, they held a concert of Orin at La Triennale di Milano in Italy. Yamaguchi Kyujo hopes that the beautiful sound of Orin will cross the borders of religion and countries and bring peace and happiness to people around the world.