Important Cultural PropertyGilt bronze bowl

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  • 1 piece
  • H18.8, body D33.4 aperture D 28.5
  • Nara period/8th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • E-14284

This is a large gilt bronze bowl with a wide mouth and square shoulders which go narrower toward the bottom. The bowl is part of a monk's minimum possessions called sanne ippatsu (three robes and one bowl) and is used mainly for meals. The name of the bowl is derived from the Sanskrit word patra, which is translated into the Chinese word "oryoki" (which means that the shape, color and amount are compliant with the prescribed rules). It is specified that the bowl a monk carries should be made of iron or pottery. Plated ones like this one were used as dishes for offerings, such as rice, to Buddha.