January 18, 2008, Newsletter Issue #47: The Shishi-odoshi

Tip of the Week

The Shishi-odoshi is much simpler than its namesake. It is a traditional water feature made of bamboo which operates by moving water. The Shishi-odoshi has a hollow tube, which causes a loud cracking sound, originally intended to scare away deer. You’ll find the Shishi-odoshi in a variety of configurations. However, the most common consists of two bamboo sticks emerging from the ground with a central bamboo stick sandwiched between the two and serving as the water tube.

The Shishi-odoshi has a water chamber below ground. Water moves up through one of the hollow bamboo sticks via a pump. A smaller bamboo spout near the top pours water into the central water tube below. The weight of the water moves the central bamboo stick forward and the water subsequently pours out.

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