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Monday, September 28, 2015

Bonshō - Japanese Temple Bell

Bonshō are large bells from Japan. They are found in Buddhist temples throughout the country, where they are used to summon the monks to prayer and to demarcate periods of time. Rather than containing a clapper, bonsho are struck from the outside, using either a hand-held mallet or a beam suspended on ropes. Their penetrating and pervasive tone carries over considerable distance, and is thought to have supernatural properties such as being heard in the underworld; their spiritual significance means that Bonshō play an important role in Buddhist ceremonies, particularly the New Year and Obon festivals.

This Bonshō is bronze patina in a weathered wood frame, with a wooden mallet. Touch the bell to hear its resonance.

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