Authentic Original Antique Arts of Old Japan by Kumi Arts of JapanKumi Arts of Japan
Vintage Japanese Horagai Conch shell

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Vintage Japanese Horagai Conch shell
This is a Horagai ,a conch shell , for a Yamabushi , dated around mid 1900's. This was originally used by Yamabushi when warrior monks of the Shugendo sect and Yamabushi would use the trumpet to signal their presence (or movements) to one another across mountaintops. In more peaceful times monks would sound it to accompany the chanting of sutras. These days, they use this during religious service and it has the meaning of the teachings of Buddha. The horagai can produce three or five different notes. The different pitches are achieved using a bronze or wooden mouthpiece attached to the apex of the shell's spire. At freezing temperatures (often encountered in the mountainous regions of Japan) the lips may freeze to the metal surface, so wooden or bamboo mouthpieces are used. It is required to have right sound, but I made one of my friends who used to be a Yamabushi try with this one , and it sounded like the one below from Youtube. Tassels are worn and colors got darker . There are line like cracks , but they are called Seicho-sen, growth plate and it does not affect the sound. 4.5 " H x 13 " W x 5" Thick (11.4 cm H x 33 cm W x 12.7cm D ) Weight is 22.7oz ( 642g )

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