About “Gargoyles” on massive gothic architecture in the West.



In the West, rain spouts called Gargoyles exist. The origin is from the French word gargouille. It means “throat”, perhaps being named for the fact that it sticks out from the buildings and its function is to drain rain water.


They are often a part of large cathedrals, and they are usually fantastic animals made of stone. It has been written that although it is used on large churches, they are not religious in meaning but are functioning ornamental rain spouts.




Rain chains would be Japan’s equivalent of decorative spouts that incorporate rain water, but stone is rarely used in Japanese architecture, and instead wood or thatches are used, as well as fired material such as Japanese roof tiles. Perhaps this aspect of cultural difference in architecture prevented Japan from stone-made decorative spouts such as Gargoyles.


Attempts have been made to stylize rain spouts around the world and each country’s architectural culture had a great impact on the type of rain spouts such as “Gargoyles” or our Japanese rain chains, both having highly stylized form while incorporating rain water.

Our rain chain “Toh” now has a larger model in size L, which will drain water even for truly oversized roofs.


In addition to “Toh” rain chain with conventional size, a slightly larger “Toh L” is now available. Larger 60mm diameter is one and a half times larger than the 45mm of its predecessor.

Keeping the three varied cylinder sizes on the chain for a random feeling in its design, we increased the drainage capacity for adaptability to buildings with larger roofs.


The Toh rain chain was developed with a concept of positive adaptability to modern architecture by reviewing the conventional rain chains from the past in Japan. As a result, we now find a great increase in number of scenes that display buildings with rain chains.


Japanese rain chains are unique type of drainage system, particularly because it has a design aspect as its main feature.


It has an ornamental quality as it displays water flowing gracefully down from the roof using only natural force. When thinking about decorations with water, the first thing that comes to mind is water fountains, but principally, they use electricity to jet the water. There is a global call to reduce consumption of fossil fuel, and rain chains are eco-friendly water ornamentation with a function that operates cleanly and provides aesthetic pleasure.


Speaking of functions, in principle, common gutters collect rain water from the roof and let it flow down the pipe shaped drain. But there are situations, due to building design, where gutters and pipes cause complications for draining water. In these settings, rain chains that hangs vertically down could provide a valid solution for rain drainage.


Our mission on developing “Toh” was renewing the designs of rain chains that possess outstanding decorative and functional qualities but limited to matching traditional Japanese architecture and to provide a makeover by redesigning it to fit modern architecture. On top of its design evolution, the improved drainage capacity will increase its applicability with the arrival of the larger L size model.


Please click below for performance comparisons of rain chains.


About the cooper and stainless steel that are used for our rain chains

We use cooper and stainless steel for our rain chains. Each metal has unique characteristics so we will explain about their features:

rainchain_toh_c Toh Copper

  • About cooper
    The chemical symbol for cooper is Cu and has a unique red color on this simple metal substance. The use of cooper can be found dating back early as 9,000BC and due to having low electric resistance it is used widely such as electric lines and daily goods. Also, cooper has high water resistance and anticorrosion property while the color changing gradually from red to black and finally patina green. This color is formed by a compound called cooper carbonate, from the elements in the atmosphere and water. Cooper is often used on roofs of traditional buildings, adding beautiful patina green color to the scenery.



rainchain_toh_sToh silver color (SUS)

  • About Stainless Steel
    Stainless steel is an alloy made from mainly nickel and chromium. Highly durable and it is used under severe conditions. There are variations depending on the ratio of nickel and chromium and the most popular combination ratio is 18% nickel and 8% chromium which is called the SUS304 stainless steel alloy. It is a silver color metal used frequently around the kitchen and on construction materials among other variation of usage.


SEO Inc. mainly uses these two types of materials to manufacture our rain chains.