Sound as Connection

Purpose of The Collaboration

Inaba Toshiro is a medical doctor whose research spans both Western and traditional Eastern medicine. His approach examines the body holistically, understanding humans as ecological beings with a unified mind and body. He applies this same perspective to society. Inaba believes that art is a necessary force for balancing society and is active within the fields of art and culture. For this collaboration, Inaba teamed up with Shimatani Syouryu Kobo to research the psychological effects of orin Buddhist singing bells (also known as keisu) and explore the possibility of introducing the bells as a tool for improving wellbeing and quality of life. The techniques for making Syouryu’s mellifluous orin bells have been handed down from parent to child for generations. Syouryu’s fourth-generation master craftsman, Shimatani Yoshinori, uses his ear for sound, passionately promoting the melodies of orin singing bells around the world.

Inaba Toshiro

Doctor, MD. Born in 1979, Inaba currently lives in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture.
Inaba is the deputy chief of the Karuizawa Municipal Hospital and the director of its General Medicine Division. He is also an associate professor at Shinshu University’s Research Center for Social Systems, a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, and a visiting professor at the Tohoku University of Art and Design. Inaba served as the art director for Yamagata Biennale 2020.

Inaba Toshiro,
Inochi wa nochi no inochi e
[Life Becomes Later Life],
Anonima Studio, 2020

Shimatani Syouryu Kobo

シマタニ昇龍工房 四代 昇龍

Established in 1909. Shimatani Syouryu Kobo is a workshop that has handed down the secret of making traditional Buddhist bells from parent to child for generations. Syouryu’s bells are prized by temples throughout Japan, including Eiheiji Temple (Fukui Prefecture), Sojiji Temple (Kanagawa Prefecture), Sojiji Soin Temple (Ishikawa Prefecture), and Nanzenji Temple (Kyoto).
Shimatani Yoshinori, Syouryu’s fourth-generation master craftsman, actively promotes the sound of orin singing bells around the world.

Keisu Buddhist singing bell