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Buddhist bell
立花久兵衛作 梵鐘 室町時代
Place of Origin: Japan, Tajima province
Date: 1532
Object Name: Ritual object; musical instrument
Materials: Bronze
Dimensions: H. 57 3/4 in x Diam. 40 1/8 in, H. 146.7 cm x Diam. 101.9 cm
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of William Goodman
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Metal Arts
Object Number: B84B2
On Display: No

Description

Label:

This two-thousand-pound bronze bell was made by Tachibana Kyubei for Daienji Temple in Tajima province, Japan, in 1532. The inscriptions on the bell include Buddhist texts and information about the bell’s creation, such as the artist’s name, date, and temple name.

Four Buddhist figures, the guardian kings of the East, South, West, and North, appear in the four squares on the circumference of the bell. Alongside the figures, in raised text, are verses from the Nirvana Sutra, one of the principal Buddhist ritual texts.

All things lack permanence.
This is the law of birth and death.
Extinguish birth and death.
Cessation leads to bliss.

Longer inscriptions, also in raised text, appear on the front and back of the bell, in single vertical lines that seem to emanate from the center of lotus blossoms.

Praise Amitabha Buddha.
Praise Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva.

Another text is carved into the bronze on the right side of the bell. These words are chanted after reading a sutra aloud. Reading the sutra is a ritual that creates merit, and this invocation passes the merit on to beings who are suffering so that they can attain liberation.

We vow to confer our merit on all beings equally.
May one and all attain.

Translations by Melissa Rinne. Design and construction of the Asian Art Museum’s belfry in 2002 was made possible by the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation with additional support provided by Hitachi America, LTD.


More Information

Inscriptions: "By the merit of one's pious acts of religious practice, wish to give equally to all beings on aspiration to the highest Buddhahood and to be reborn in the world of hightest happiness established by Amida (the Western Paradise)"

"Prayer to Amida"

"Property of Daienji Temple in Tajima Province: Caster Tachibana Kyubei"

"Auspicious day of the fifth month, the first year of the Tembun era (1532)"

"Prayer to the Kannon Bosatsu"

(Notes of M. Rinne 10/14/2009. Confirmation of Buddhist text translation provided by Prof. Victor Sogen Hori, McGill University)
Label:

This two-thousand-pound bronze bell was made by Tachibana Kyubei for Daienji Temple in Tajima province, Japan, in 1532. The inscriptions on the bell include Buddhist texts and information about the bell’s creation, such as the artist’s name, date, and temple name.

Four Buddhist figures, the guardian kings of the East, South, West, and North, appear in the four squares on the circumference of the bell. Alongside the figures, in raised text, are verses from the Nirvana Sutra, one of the principal Buddhist ritual texts.

All things lack permanence.
This is the law of birth and death.
Extinguish birth and death.
Cessation leads to bliss.

Longer inscriptions, also in raised text, appear on the front and back of the bell, in single vertical lines that seem to emanate from the center of lotus blossoms.

Praise Amitabha Buddha.
Praise Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva.

Another text is carved into the bronze on the right side of the bell. These words are chanted after reading a sutra aloud. Reading the sutra is a ritual that creates merit, and this invocation passes the merit on to beings who are suffering so that they can attain liberation.

We vow to confer our merit on all beings equally.
May one and all attain.

Translations by Melissa Rinne. Design and construction of the Asian Art Museum’s belfry in 2002 was made possible by the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Foundation with additional support provided by Hitachi America, LTD.


Inscriptions: "By the merit of one's pious acts of religious practice, wish to give equally to all beings on aspiration to the highest Buddhahood and to be reborn in the world of hightest happiness established by Amida (the Western Paradise)"

"Prayer to Amida"

"Property of Daienji Temple in Tajima Province: Caster Tachibana Kyubei"

"Auspicious day of the fifth month, the first year of the Tembun era (1532)"

"Prayer to the Kannon Bosatsu"

(Notes of M. Rinne 10/14/2009. Confirmation of Buddhist text translation provided by Prof. Victor Sogen Hori, McGill University)