Tokyo-based glass manufacturer Hario Co.’s sole production factory found in the city of Koga in the Ibaraki Prefecture was hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Despite having damaged kilns, it was able to make a glass classical guitar with hopes to symbolize disaster recovery. Famous guitarist Kaori Muraji is set to play “Forbidden Games” using the glass guitar at a concert on March 9 at the Tsukuba International Congress Center.
Hario is an old and established glass company, specializing in heat-resistant glass, like coffee pots. It also creates musical instruments made of glass. It had two kilns; one survived because of an in-house generator, but the other did not. After obtaining a new kiln in September 2011, it began work on the glass guitar. Katsumasa Konno, a veteran craftsman with 40 years of experience, led some 10 craftsmen to complete the project. Since the aim is to actually make music, it was also important for the glass to be thin and even. In this aspect, Muraji had an essential part in the process of creating the actual instrument itself. With his supervision, the glass guitar had to be revised a number of times until the sound was perfect.
The concert, called “Musical Instruments That Survived,” will also feature a glass violin and a Shakuhachi, a Japanese flute, that survived the earthquake in March 2011. Mari Tsujimoto, the company’s product planning and PR deputy manager says they hope to “send the tunes of recovery to people in devastated areas.” The concert will start at 2 p.m. Tickets are sold at 500 yen and can be bought at Ticket Pia and Hario Co. at 0120-398-207 in Japanese. Profits from the concert are for the benefit of disaster recovery efforts.
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