Shishi-odoshi

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A shishi-odoshi breaks the quietness of a Japanese garden with the sound of a bamboo rocker arm hitting a rock.

Shishi-odoshi (鹿威し lit. means "scare the deer" in Japanese?). In a wide sense, it refers to Japanese devices made to scare away birds and beasts damaging agriculture, such as the kakashi (scarecrow), naruko (clappers) and sōzu (see below). In a narrower sense, it is synonymous with sōzu.

Sōzu is a type of water fountain used in Japanese gardens. It consists of a segmented tube, usually of bamboo, pivoted to one side of its balance point. At rest, its heavier end is down and resting against a rock. A trickle of water into the upper end of the tube accumulates and eventually moves the tube's centre of gravity past the pivot, causing the tube to rotate and dump out the water. The heavier end then falls back against the rock, making a sharp sound, and the cycle repeats. This noise is intended to startle any herbivores such as deer or boars which may be grazing on the plants in the garden.

Sōzu, a kind of shishi-odoshi, in Shisen-dō, a historic spot in Kyoto


See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Sound of a sōzu. Recorded at Shisen-dō, Kyoto, Japan

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