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Object ID: B84B2
Designation: Buddhist bell
Object Name: Ritual object; musical instrument
Date: 1532
Medium: Bronze
Place of Origin: Japan, Tajima province
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of William Goodman
Label: INSCRIPTIONS AND IMAGERY ON THE ASIAN ART MUSEUM'S BUDDHIST BELL
VERSES FROM THE NIRVANA SUTRA*
甈瞴無常 
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
南無槁弥榿佛
Namu Amida Butsu Praise Amitabha Buddha
南無癍世栍簗穗
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu Praise Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva
EKO ("TURNING OF MERIT") PRAYER**
枨以此功徳平等施一切
同発簗提心徃生安楽國
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
但晔國大圓寺什物
洍物師立絏久兵瞥
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.
On display: no
Collection: Metal Arts
Dimensions: H. 57 3/4 in x Diam. 40 1/8 in, H. 146.7 cm x Diam. 101.9 cm
Department: Japanese Art