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Memorial to violin maker Jin Chang Heryern unveiled in Kiso, Japan

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A public memorial to violin maker Jin Chang Heryern has been erected in the town of Kiso, Japan. The South Korean-born luthier, who died in May at the age of 82, began his career as a maker in the town.

The stone memorial, situated on Kiso’s main street, was unveiled on 21 July by mayor Katsumi Tanaka. At the ceremony, Tanaka said the monument would serve to demonstrate the town’s pride and encourage future generations.

Though Jin spent only four years in Kiso before moving to Tokyo, 300 miles east, he was said to refer to the town as his ‘spiritual home’. He began to make violins in the evenings while he worked to support his family as a construction worker. Largely self-taught, he relied on Edward Heron-Allen’s English-language book Violin Making: As It Was and Is, published in 1884. In 1976, Jin’s work received five gold medals from the Violin Society of America.

The memorial depicts Jin’s face with an inscription from a poem written by the luthier. The national flower of South Korea, the Rose of Sharon, was planted nearby.