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Japanese sliding doors

JS=hyaku

Kouhai
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I have been puzzling about this for many years and not been able to find an answer, even by searching the internet and posting on other forums. I'm glad I've found JRef - from the postings I have looked at so far, it seems much more active than others and I hope that the mystery will be solved.

In Ozu films (and many others, no doubt!), when the outside door to the entryway of a house is slid open or closed a bell rings to announce the arrival of a visitor or return of a resident. How does this sytem work? I have worked out several possibilities, but I'd like to see how this actually functions.

I have asked several Japanese about this, but they haven't been able to help. I am assuming that this sort of system no longer features in everyday life - a bit like the bell on a spring above shop doors in the UK. The films I refer to were made in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Still, I hope that someone somewhere will be able to illucidate!
 

nice gaijin

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just reverse engineering, an arm or spring fixed in the top of the frame with a bell on it that gets struck by another arm attached to the door whenever it passes should do the trick, whenever the door is opened or closed again...
 

Mike Cash

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Now that you mention it, I can't even remember the last time I entered a shop that had one of those, but they used to be as common as stupidity. I always marvelled over the electronic ones that played the appropriate greeting upon entering leaving the shop.

"Elucidate", by the way.

Welcome to the forum.
 

JS=hyaku

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Now that you mention it, I can't even remember the last time I entered a shop that had one of those, but they used to be as common as stupidity. I always marvelled over the electronic ones that played the appropriate greeting upon entering leaving the shop.

"Elucidate", by the way.

Welcome to the forum.
just reverse engineering, an arm or spring fixed in the top of the frame with a bell on it that gets struck by another arm attached to the door whenever it passes should do the trick, whenever the door is opened or closed again...
Thanks so far: the bell is not just a single ring, though. As the door slides along the bell rings continuously until the door stops, then again as the door is slid closed. I think that there must be a rotary bell running off the top of the door. I can guess and probably work out a system that functions, but it would be great to see a real one.

Thanks also for the spelling correction: I blame a fuzzy head caused by the flu...
 

Toritoribe

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Your guess is correct. The trade name of the bell is Isami Bell. The bell is fixed on the top of the door with metal parts. The periphery of the bell is covered with rubber and attached to the lintel, so the bell is rotated when the door slides.
A site says that this bell is exactly the one used in Late Spring (Banshun) by Ozu. Here's the pictures of the bell.
isamibell.jpg

isamibell2.jpg

isamibell7.jpg

isamibell5.jpg
 

JS=hyaku

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Your guess is correct. The trade name of the bell is Isami Bell. The bell is fixed on the top of the door with metal parts. The periphery of the bell is covered with rubber and attached to the lintel, so the bell is rotated when the door slides.
A site says that this bell is exactly the one used in Late Spring (Banshun) by Ozu. Here's the pictures of the bell.
Excellent; thank you so much. That's exactly the information I was looking for but I couldn't find the name or details anywhere.
I have a bell like that one (for a bicycle), but I had assumed that the mechanism would be more complex. I hadn't thought of a rubber tyre around the bell, but that makes more sense than trying to get it to work with gears.
Thanks again.
 

Mike Cash

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That isn't rubber around the bell; that would kill the sound. It looks like that is a separate piece that spins the clapper inside the bell.
 

JS=hyaku

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That isn't rubber around the bell; that would kill the sound. It looks like that is a separate piece that spins the clapper inside the bell.
You're right (again). But the top part is exactly the same as the bicycle bell I bought, except the bell is spun over the plate fixed to the handlebars. There are two small tabs that stick up and get in the way of two balls on springs inside. When they spring back they hit the bell. Spin the bell enough and it rings just like in the film - so I had got that bit right. I haven't found the real one on line yet, though, but I think I can make one. I'll post the results.
 

Toritoribe

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That isn't rubber around the bell; that would kill the sound. It looks like that is a separate piece that spins the clapper inside the bell.
Ah, yes, probably that's the correct mechanism.

I haven't found the real one on line yet
The bell has already stopped production. I found frozen stocks sold in auction sites.

引戸ベル(いさみベル) - 三木屋金物店‥昔ながらの良き金物
【昭和アンティーク】いさみベル ※引き戸用来客... - ヤフオク!
 

JS=hyaku

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The bell has already stopped production. I found frozen stocks sold in auction sites.
That may be why I had problems finding one! Thank you everyone for your help. I've got lots of photos to help me get started!
 
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