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  • Industry leading Our sales and technical team have over 20 years’ experience working with the industry leading rainwater systems available in the UK. Industry leading
    Our sales and technical team have over 20 years’ experience working with the industry leading rainwater systems available in the UK.
  • Expert advice Our friendly service and competitive prices combined with a step-by-step support approach, make for easy rainwater product selection. Expert advice
    Our friendly service and competitive prices combined with a step-by-step support approach, make for easy rainwater product selection.
  • Nationwide delivery Our delivery drivers cover the whole of the UK (mainland only) so no matter where you are, we can get your order to you. Nationwide delivery
    Our delivery drivers cover the whole of the UK (mainland only) so no matter where you are, we can get your order to you.
  • Premium quality Our aluminium, steel, cast iron, plastic & GRP rainwater systems are all sourced from the leading manufacturers in the UK to ensure they are of the highest quality. Premium quality
    Our aluminium, steel, cast iron, plastic & GRP rainwater systems are all sourced from the leading manufacturers in the UK to ensure they are of the highest quality.

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Rain Chains from Japan

Rain Chains from Japan
Gutter Centre brings you Rain Chains from Japan. The elegance of flowing water can now be enjoyed without using electricity or other energy sources. Rain Chains can offer you that unique ambiance and add to the architectural design of your home or work place. These select ranges of Japanese Rain Chains have been specified by renowned architectural offices around the world. Please allow up to 15- 20 working days for delivery from Japan.
Kusari-toi, rain-chain, is a type of drain sprout that hangs vertically down from the lateral gutter on roofs, designed to guide collected rainwater to the ground. Vertical drain spouts are commonly made of pipes, not displaying the flow of water on its way to the ground, but in contrast, Kusari-toi is a functional ornament which provides visual pleasure for the observer as the rain water trickles down the chain from the roof down to the ground. It has been implemented in shrines and temples as well as residences in Japanese style architectures since long ago to eloquent the various emotions that Japan’s four seasons express.
Kusari-toi is a form of Japanese architecture which was first implemented when constructing Sukiya-style buildings, or tea-houses for performing tea ceremonies. Sukiya’s architecture first appeared during the Azuchi Momoyama period (approx. 1558-1600 CE) when small tea-houses were called Sukiya in Japan. At the time, Tea masters preferred mundane and rustic aestheticism over formality and splendor, so natural elements were selected for Sukiya architecture. As a result, similar sensibilities can also be seen in Kusari-toi of that period as fibers from the outer layer of hemp-palm plants were woven into a rope called Shuro-nawa, and was hung from the eaves made of bamboo or wood so that rainwater could trickle down the rope to the ground, functioning as Kusari-toi, the original rain-chain.
The shuro-nawa type of rain chain can still be found at the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum, next to the entrance of a house historically resided by each generation’s leader of Mitsui family, each successor inheriting the name Hachiroemon Mitsui.
As time passed, drain sprouts, which were formerly made of natural elements such as bamboo and wood, have evolved with the advancement of metal technology and metal materials such as copper were soon used. Rain chains also evolved from shuro-nawa ropes to linked metal chains and further developed to cup-shaped metal for improved water flow.
The evolving rain chain, which is a functional drainage ornament designed specifically for traditional Japanese architecture, slowly saw its use expand to residential homes about a half century ago. The increasing inclination towards Western style homes during the following years reduced the number of rain chain being used. However, due to its captivating design, a revival is observed in recent years where architects increasingly incorporate it on buildings with Japanese tastes or transforming it as a façade on modern commercial buildings which are all new ideas that had not existed with the conventional perspective.
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