Japanese Glass Fishing Floats
My Dad's Find
This is a story about how I've acquired a cool little collection of Japanese Glass Fishing Floats. I love these and I have made them my table's center piece.
A long time ago, before and after I was born, my family lived on a little island of Hawaii called Lanai. This was in the 70's, and long before the tourists found out about this island. The Philippinos who lived there were afraid of the ocean so my family had the beaches all to themselves.
One day while walking along Shipwreck Beach, my dad made a fantastic discovery.
The shore was covered with glass balls. Not one one of them was the same, there were big ones and little ones. Most were round like balls but some were shaped like rolling pins. There were some that were dark green, and some were light green and blue. A lot of them were encased in fishing nets and some weren't. But they were treasures, every one of them.
This is a picture of my glass ball collection from Hawaii.
I want to thank everyone who provided me with a PURPLE STAR, and LENS OF THE DAY!!! Talk about happiness! And both on the same day! So awesome! Thank you so much, all of you who loved my lens, and gave me not only a great day, but inspiration too!
Collecting Glass Balls On Shipwreck Beach
This is the beach that was once covered with glass fishing balls. The glass balls my dad found were carried in tides from Japan and were swept to rest on this beach. My dad went home to tell my mom, brother, and sister about his cool find.
For days my family collected these balls and took them home. My brother and sister were 6 and 7 and everyday they raced to the beach to see who could get there faster.
My mom being pregnant with me and about to pop would just waddle slowly to the beach.
When they brought glass balls home, they hung them up on the front porch for all to see. And my mom filled their hammock with the ones that they couldn't hang.
These Great Balls Will Always Be In Our Collections
About six years later we moved to California and we took at least thirty glass balls with us. I was always fascinated with them and admired them. I had a favorite, and it just happened to be my dad's favorite too. It was unique because this particular glass ball had water inside it!
I asked him one day how that happened and he explained that it must have been submerged down into the ocean with such force that some of the water was trapped inside. My dad still has this glass ball to this day and the water is still inside!
Now over 35 years later my mom and dad has kept some of the glass balls, and so have I. This is one of the glass balls my dad gave to me, it is also unique because it has a flag pole holder that is still attached. The fishermen would put flags in these holders to find the nets easier.
I love my glass balls and very proud of them and their history. I will keep them for the rest of my life, and will share this story with anyone who asks about them.
Glass Balls - Cool glass balls to cherish:
Not genuine, but pretty anyway. And would look good hanging on your front porch, especially if you live in a beach town!
More About Japanese Glass Fishing Floats
These are floats that the Japanese made over 80 years ago for fishing. The green color was the most common because they were made from recycled Sake bottles. The sizes were varied because the fishermen were always experimenting on what works the best.
Sometimes the floats would "escape" from fishing nets and they were found washed up all over the Pacific beaches in the 60's, 70's and 80's. The balls are the most common but the rolling pin shaped ones (called rollers), have also been found on the beaches at the same time.
Originally all round floats were made with nets, but the theory is that some of the nets may have rotted off while in the ocean. The rolling pins didn't have nets and ropes were tied on the two ends in order to use for fishing. The fishermen were not happy that their floats would "escape" from their fishing nets, but my family sure was, and I'm sure other people who found them were happy too. When talking about them, we never called these glass floats, instead we always called them glass balls!
My Little Treasure - My favorite glass ball, because it's so small and cute!
Genuine Glass Fishing Floats
These are just like ours, and I found some of the rolling pin kind as well! :)
Glass Ball Collection
This is a very cool video showing all kinds of different fishing floats.
Books About Japanese Fishing Balls
Loaded with pictures of great beach finds.
Learn more about this fascinating creation!