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Metalwork: bon’ongu

"Metalwork: bon’ongu"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 13  September 27, 2016 (Tue) - December 23, 2016 (Fri)

  
Kei GongLotus pond design, Excavated at Kinpusen, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)

Sound-producing implements known as bon’ongu are used to symbolically purify the premises and also to signify pauses in Buddhist rituals. They include implements that are struck, such as gongs and large bells, as well as ones that are shaken, such as small bells and metal staves with attached rings. Because these implements were used for their acoustic effects, they were created mainly from cast bronze. Their metallic sounds, both sharp and pure, heightened the religious atmosphere during ceremonies. These implements, however, are also highly decorative. We invite visitors to examine their forms, beautiful both for their functionality and decoration, and see the stylistic changes that occurred over the ages.

Current exhibit includes:
Finial of Priest's Staff, Excavated at Mount Dainichi, Toyama, Heian period, 11th century (Important Cultural Property, Private collection)
Finial of Priest's Staff,
Heian period, dated 1142 (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Tesshuji, Shizuoka)
Waniguchi
Gong, Excavated at Miyabuchi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano, Heian period, dated 1001 (Important Cultural Property, Gift of Mr. Takahashi Tamotsu)
Kei
GongLotus pond design, Excavated at Kinpusen, Tenkawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property)