Important Cultural PropertyBell

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  • Chin Monju
  • 1 piece
  • Casted bronze
  • H 38.7, D of rim 20.6
  • Six dynasties, China/Taijian 7(575)
  • Nara National Museum
  • 760(工155)

This is a small bronze Bonsho (bell). The top part of the Bonsho is called Ryuzu (dragon head), where a double headed dragon bites the part called Kasagata, while a Hojyu (sacred gem) is placed on the center of the head. The Kasa is divided into the inner and outer parts by a line and the Shoshin (the main body) is also divided into areas by belts called Jyotai, Chutai, Katai (horizontal lines) and Jyutai (vertical line). The areas include Chi-no-ma, Ike-no-ma and Kusa-no-ma (Kusa room), but there are no Chichi (or Nyu) (projection) in the Chi-no-ma or Koma-no-tsume at the bottom edge of the Shoshin, which a Bonsho bell usually has. Two Hachiyo-renge patterned Tsugiza and the direction of Ryuzu are orthogonally placed and the center of the Tsugiza is high and positioned almost in the middle of the Shoshin. The overall shape of the Bonsho is vertically long and the style is older than those in Myoshin-ji Temple (Kyoto) and Kanzeon-ji Temple (Fukuoka). According to an inscription on part of the Jyutai, it was made in 575. This Bonsho is a precious precedent from the Rikucho period in China that is thought to have been the origin of Japanese Bonsho.