Bronze Bell (Dōtaku)
Reportedly found in Kagawa Prefecture, Yayoi period, 2nd–1st century BC (National Treasure)
Heiseikan Japanese Archaeology Gallery
March 2, 2021 (Tue) - September 5, 2021 (Sun)
This section features ritual objects from the Yayoi period (ca. 5th century BC–ca. 3rd century AD), with a focus on bronze spears, swords, halberds, and bell-shaped dotaku. Early in this period, the first bronze and iron implements were brought to Kyushu in southwestern Japan from Korea. Among these were bronze weapons such as swords, spears, and halberds. Soon these objects were being created locally and they became larger and flatter, showing a shift to ritual use.
Most bell-shaped dotaku have been excavated from the Kinki region. Although they may have originated from similar bells made in China and Korea, they were created in larger sizes and with unique surface decorations. Initially, they were approximately 20 cm in height but their size increased over time as they changed into ornamental objects no longer used to produce sound. Experts believe that these ritual bells were used to pray for bountiful harvests and the prosperity of settlements.
|Designation||Name||Amount||Creation Excavation||Period||Acquisition Ownership||Comment|
|Highlight||National Treasure||Bronze Bell ("Dōtaku")||Reportedly found in Kagawa Prefecture||Yayoi period, 2nd–1st century BC||J-37433|
|Highlight||Bronze Sword with an "Insect Antennae" Pommel||Found in Karatsu City, Saga||Yayoi period, 2nd–1st century BC||J-22931|
|Bronze Spearhead||Yayoi period, 1st-3rd century||J-9142-1|
|Highlight||Bronze Halberd, Narrow blade type||Excavated at Yasu Nagata, Yubi-machi, Tosu-shi, Saga||Yayoi period, 2nd-1st century BC||Gift of Mr. Moji Tsuneo, J-7282|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||Mold of Bronze Halberd||Excavated at Ichiinoki, Kami Izumi, Kuboizumi-machi, Saga-shi, Saga||Yayoi period, 2nd-1st century BC||J-37005|
|Highlight||Important Cultural Property||"Dotaku" (Bell-shaped bronze)||Excavated at Oiwayama, Koshinohara, Yasu-shi, Shiga||Yayoi period, 1st-3rd century||J-826|