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Buddhist bell
梵鐘 室町時代
Place of Origin: Japan, Tajima province
Date: 1532
Object Name: Ritual object; musical instrument
Materials: Bronze
Dimensions: H. 57 3/4 in x Diam. 40 1/8 in, H. 146.7 cm x Diam. 101.9 cm
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of William Goodman
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Metal Arts
Object Number: B84B2
On Display: No

Description

Label:

INSCRIPTIONS AND IMAGERY ON THE ASIAN ART MUSEUM'S BUDDHIST BELL VERSES FROM THE NIRVANA SUTRA*
諸行無常 
是生滅法
生滅々已 
寂滅為楽
Shogyo mujo
Ze shomeppo
Shometsu metsui
Jakumetsu iraku
All things lack permanence
This the law of birth-and-death
Extinguish birth-and-death
Cessation leads to bliss

IMAGES OF THE FOUR GUARDIAN KINGS
(Jikoku Ten/Dhrtarastra, Guardian King of the East)
(Zocho Ten/Virudhaka, Guardian King of the South)
(Komoku Ten/Virupaksa, Guardian King of the West)
(Tamon Ten/Vaishravana, Guardian King of the North)

PRAISE OF BUDDHIST DEITIES
南無阿弥陁佛
Namu Amida Butsu Praise Amitabha Buddha
南無観世音菩薩
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu Praise Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva

EKO ("TURNING OF MERIT") PRAYER**
願以此功徳平等施一切
同発菩提心徃生安楽國
Gan ishi kudoku byodo se issai
Dohatsu bodaijin ojo anrakukoku
We vow to confer our merit on all beings equally
May one and all attain awakened mind, be born in the land of bliss.

DATE
天文元年
五月吉日
Tenmon gannen
Gogatsu kichijitsu
First year of the Tenmon Era (1532)
An auspicious day of the fifth month

ARTIST AND PROVENANCE
但馬國大圓寺什物
鋳物師立花久兵衛
Tajima no kuni Daienji jumotsu
Imoji Tachibana Kyubei
Treasure of Daienji Temple, Tajima Province
Cast by [bronze] founder Tachibana Kyubei
*The four sets of four-character verses placed around the sides of the bell come from the Nirvana Sutra and express its essence. The priest Kukai is said to have later adapted the meaning of these four lines into the famous Iroha poem that comprises each character of the Japanese syllabary.
**This is an eko (turning over of merit) chanted after reading a sutra. Reading the sutra created merit and the eko turns the merit over to beings in suffering so that they can attain liberation.


More Information

Inscriptions: "By the merit of one's pious acts of religious practice, wish to give equally to all beings on aspiration to the highest Buddhahood and to be reborn in the world of hightest happiness established by Amida (the Western Paradise)"

"Prayer to Amida"

"Property of Daienji Temple in Tajima Province: Caster Tachibana Kyubei"

"Auspicious day of the fifth month, the first year of the Tembun era (1532)"

"Prayer to the Kannon Bosatsu"

(Notes of M. Rinne 10/14/2009. Confirmation of Buddhist text translation provided by Prof. Victor Sogen Hori, McGill University)
Label:

INSCRIPTIONS AND IMAGERY ON THE ASIAN ART MUSEUM'S BUDDHIST BELL VERSES FROM THE NIRVANA SUTRA*
諸行無常 
是生滅法
生滅々已 
寂滅為楽
Shogyo mujo
Ze shomeppo
Shometsu metsui
Jakumetsu iraku
All things lack permanence
This the law of birth-and-death
Extinguish birth-and-death
Cessation leads to bliss

IMAGES OF THE FOUR GUARDIAN KINGS
(Jikoku Ten/Dhrtarastra, Guardian King of the East)
(Zocho Ten/Virudhaka, Guardian King of the South)
(Komoku Ten/Virupaksa, Guardian King of the West)
(Tamon Ten/Vaishravana, Guardian King of the North)

PRAISE OF BUDDHIST DEITIES
南無阿弥陁佛
Namu Amida Butsu Praise Amitabha Buddha
南無観世音菩薩
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu Praise Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva

EKO ("TURNING OF MERIT") PRAYER**
願以此功徳平等施一切
同発菩提心徃生安楽國
Gan ishi kudoku byodo se issai
Dohatsu bodaijin ojo anrakukoku
We vow to confer our merit on all beings equally
May one and all attain awakened mind, be born in the land of bliss.

DATE
天文元年
五月吉日
Tenmon gannen
Gogatsu kichijitsu
First year of the Tenmon Era (1532)
An auspicious day of the fifth month

ARTIST AND PROVENANCE
但馬國大圓寺什物
鋳物師立花久兵衛
Tajima no kuni Daienji jumotsu
Imoji Tachibana Kyubei
Treasure of Daienji Temple, Tajima Province
Cast by [bronze] founder Tachibana Kyubei
*The four sets of four-character verses placed around the sides of the bell come from the Nirvana Sutra and express its essence. The priest Kukai is said to have later adapted the meaning of these four lines into the famous Iroha poem that comprises each character of the Japanese syllabary.
**This is an eko (turning over of merit) chanted after reading a sutra. Reading the sutra created merit and the eko turns the merit over to beings in suffering so that they can attain liberation.


Inscriptions: "By the merit of one's pious acts of religious practice, wish to give equally to all beings on aspiration to the highest Buddhahood and to be reborn in the world of hightest happiness established by Amida (the Western Paradise)"

"Prayer to Amida"

"Property of Daienji Temple in Tajima Province: Caster Tachibana Kyubei"

"Auspicious day of the fifth month, the first year of the Tembun era (1532)"

"Prayer to the Kannon Bosatsu"

(Notes of M. Rinne 10/14/2009. Confirmation of Buddhist text translation provided by Prof. Victor Sogen Hori, McGill University)