Important Cultural PropertyGong of Waniguchi Type

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  • 金銅鰐口
  • 1 piece
  • Gilt bronze, gold plated
  • W 17.8, D 15.8
  • Kamakura period/Kencho 6(1254)
  • Nara National Museum
  • 1185(工250 H)

A Waniguchi is a bell that can be rung by shaking the rope that hangs in front of the bell from the horizontal beam of the front shrine or hall where an image of Buddha is enshrined. Most of them are made of copper and an iron Waniguchi is very rare. This Waniguchi is also made of copper and plating is applied to the entire surface. It is unique in that it is very small in size. Moreover, an inscription and sutras, such as Amitabha Sutra, Life Sutra and Nirvana Sutra, are engraved over the entire surface from the front and back to the sides. The inscription says that this Waniguchi was dedicated to the Enseiji Tenjingu in Boshu, Yamaguchi in May 1254 by a person named Jiren. The patterns on the front and the back are the same and divided into three sections by double circular lines. In the center is a lotus design forming a striking base. The lotus flower has eight simple petals with no patterns on them and a pistil and stamens can be found inside the petals. There is a slit at the bottom of the Waniguchi with a heart-shaped hole at each end of the slit. The handles are in the shape of a lotus fruit.