Important Cultural PropertyGilt bronze five-pronged bell, with the motif of seeds of the eight Buddha's

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  • 1 piece
  • Gold-plated bronze
  • H18.2, bell aperture D7.6
  • Heian period/12th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • E-19828

Kongorei is a bell or Buddhist utensil rung during rituals and prayers in Esoteric Buddhism to awaken and please deities (tathagatas, bodhisattvas, myoo and ten ). Gokorei is a type of kongorei that has five pointed ends. (A bell with one end is called tokkorei and one with three ends is called sankorei. There are also hojurei with a gem-shaped end and torei with a pagoda-shaped end).
On the body surface of this hachibutsushu gokorei, seeds (Sanskrit representation of deities) that symbolize the following eight Buddhas are carved in a circle: Four Buddhas in the Kongokai (Diamond World) (Hosyo Tathagata, Asyuku Tathagata, Amitaba Tathagata and Fukujoju Tathagata) and four Buddhas in the Taizokai (Womb World) (Muryoju Tathagata, Tenkuraion Tathagata, Kaifukeo Tathagata and Hoto Tathagata). A nanako pattern (fish roe-like pattern) is applied to the ground around each seed while a diamond-shaped flower motif cut in half is applied between circles. Above and below the flower motif is a three-layered band comprising a spiral pattern, renju pattern (a consecutive bead pattern) and hosoge pattern (floral pattern) and lotus petals are engraved around the bottom rim of the bell. The entire surface of the bell is covered with different patterns. This is an elegant bell where a graceful shape and rich decoration coexist in perfect harmony.