If you have a chance to travel to Japan during the rainy season, you will sometimes find long chains swinging in front of the roofs of traditional houses or Shinto shrines. When the rain falls, if you stop for a while, you will hear the pleasurable sound of water gushing through these strands. Their names are also very interesting – Rain fiber (Kusari-toi).
What is rain fiber?
Rain fiber is a long string of fibers, attached to the water trough in front of the house, the main function is to carry water and store water. In Japanese, the rain thread is transcribed as “kusari-toi” or “kusari-doi”, in English as “rain chain”, “chain gutter” and in Vietnamese called “rain thread”.
What was the birth of Kusari-doi like?
Rain fiber first appeared in the Azuchi – Momoyama period (1558 – 1600), when a separate architecture for tea house called Sukiyazukuri was born. The leaders of the tea ceremony world have decided to choose the rustic aesthetic of tea architecture rather than the splendor, so the rain fiber is used to hang on bamboo or wood drains outside the tea. The hemp thread is made from the outer bark of the hemp, twisted into a thread called Shuro-nawa.
Shuro-nawa functions like modern water pipes but the difference is that the drainage pipes hide the flowing water inside, while these raindrops bring visual pleasure to the viewer while watching. Clearly flowing water from the roof to the ground. The traditional Shuro-nawa is still in use today next to the entrance of the Hachiroemon Mitsui house built by the 11th generation leader of the family, Takamkimi Mitsui, and then relocated to the Edo-Tokyo Tatemono En museum. (Koganei park, Tokyo).
Over time, along with the development of technology, gutters made of bamboo or wood are gradually being replaced by metal materials. Metallic raindrop fibers are also becoming more popular, and the cup-shaped spreader system has become increasingly popular for better transmission of rainwater.
Originally a decoration specifically designed for traditional Japanese houses, about half a century ago, rain fibers began to be incorporated into modern Western architecture. The number of traditional houses using rain fiber is less and less, instead rain fiber gradually appears more in modern architecture with diverse and rich designs.
There are many beautiful designs
The aesthetic beauty and lively sound effects of Kusari-toi
Instead of using large and bulky water pipes to carry water as usual, the Japanese simplify the water conduit so that it is compact, convenient, economical and brings high aesthetic value. Today’s raindrop is used more for home decoration purposes than for water storage, with a long or short string consisting of a water tank below or not. The rich design of the rain yarn from simple to elaborate does not only make the selection and decoration of architecture much more interesting, but also gives the homeowner the opportunity to express his own style. .
The arrangement of the raindrop is also very simple, all you need to do is fix the string on the gutter with a separate hook for immediate use. Thanks to these advantages, the raindrop is popular with many people and increasingly popular in the world.
At Japanese Shinto shrines, we often see images of rain strands hanging in front of the roof, swaying when the wind blew. When the raindrops fell, in the quiet sacred space of the temple, watching the raindrops and listening to the murmuring sound of water flowing through each chain, each chain and then falling down the water platform, suddenly felt as if sorrow was washed away with the water.
Rain fiber – the perfect adornment for Japanese tea furniture
Choose to buy Kusari-toi for your house
If you have the opportunity to choose to buy rain yarn, please refer to the following information to choose the best rain yarn:
Material: Copper raindrop is most popular because copper gives a warm feeling, and the appearance of a timeless look turns blue. Especially copper is 100% reusable metal no matter how many times it is recycled. As a result, metal fabrication costs can be reduced and a lot of energy is saved. However, when choosing to buy copper raindrop yarn, confirm carefully whether it is pure copper or has been mixed with other materials.
Variety: if you choose to buy raindrop for your garden, you can pay attention to rain yarn with cup-shaped base, because this type will make the water flow more vivid, adding a dramatic effect to the garden. For modern buildings, if necessary, it is possible to buy more water containers to avoid damaging the design details.
Length: Please estimate the length of the rain yarn to suit the height of the water gutters to save costs.
Due to the smaller structure than the drainage pipe, the rain fibers will be overloaded when the amount of water is too large, especially on rainy days with high winds. The amount of water not stored in time can damage modern structures if not possible