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Mirror Link. Please allow notifications to be able to download files. Block Allow. Marks: The original work issued from this office, entitled "The Grasses of Tennessee," including Cereals and Forage Plants, was so popular that the means at my disposal were entirely inadequate to supply the demand from the farmers throughout the State. The members of the last House of Representatives having frequent calls for them from their constituents, passed a resolution authorizing me to publish seven thousand five hundred copies for their use, but requiring the expense of such publication to be paid out of the annual appropriation made to this department.

We learn of the fathers in ringing handbells in the streets of Hirado, Kyushu, to attract potential converts. Before this happened, however, they had erected churches.

Since we know next to nothing about the bells these contained, it is easy for us to imagine them swinging in towers, with an amazed populace wondering why they were sounded that way when simply hitting them with a hammer would have been so much easier. Such was likely not the case. Scanty evidence, which underscores the Jesuits' desire not to appear different from the Japanese except in their religious beliefs, pictures a wooden structure with overhanging roof in the style of a Buddhist temple, but entered from the end.

In Kyoto, from inside the unprepossessing Shunko-in in a remote part of the precinct of My6shin-ji, a strange companion answers the Call of the Buddha on the oldest bell still rung. Its height and diameter are each 44 cm. On its straight conical flank is the date , and in two places the symbol -- There is no indication of its place of casting, but if it were not in Japan perhaps made from metal of a destroyed bonsho , it was probably in Macao or Goa.

How it came to Kyoto can only be supposed. It may have been brought from the western end of the country at the end of the seventeenth century, to give evidence in the capital that the pernicious religion of the Europeans had been eradicated. Perhaps it came later, along with the bell of cast on Kyushu Island, it will be remembered as a prize of war. He who could carry away the bonsho ruled the monastery. Benkei, who as an historical character may have lived five hundred years earlier, continued to exist as the fabulous giant who single-handed hauled a three-ton bell up Mount Hiei from Lake Biwa.

Scratches said to have been caused by his dragging it over rocks are visible on its flanks today. Kyoto, however, did not have to go to Lake Biwa for large bells. It cast bronze giants in its own domain.

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In a bell of nearly 30 metric tons was hung in the HokJ-ji. Its sound rolled over the capital like thunder; but a visible aspect of it caused a still greater effect. The bell had been ordered to please Ieyasu, chief of the Tokugawa clan, yet had been paid for largely by gold which the rival Toyotomi clan had been storing for war purposes. At the imposing ceremony of dedication and doubtless, thanks to the bell hanging close to the ground Ieyasu discovered the Chinese characters "Ie" and "Yasu" on the inscription, in a position which he took to be an insult to his clan. Immediately he ordered the ceremony halted.

The result was convocations, which brought out rivalries both religious and political, to culminate in a battle in in which the Tokugawa defeated the Toyotomi, and brought in a new historical epoch. The bell still sounds over Kyoto, since joined by another of practically the same size in the Chion-in. The largest, of fifteen metric tons, was installed in in the Zoj6-ji. By this time the Japanese knew the bells of the West, and with a consciousness of their status among nations, they decided to make a bell which would rival Western ones.

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It was a sign of the rise of a new industrial class that this bell was not to embellish a capital, ancient or modern, but -- what had once been the hideout for the Toyotomif s gold -- the now swelling commercial metropolis of Osaka. In this bell, of over 60 metric tons, was cast and hung in a new sh6r6 in the Shitenno-ji. There were no disturbances at this dedication, although here too there was a slight flaw in the bell's inscription: the date of casting was given incorrectly as While not the heaviest bell ever cast, it was claimed to be the largest in volume.

In every sense it was a Japanese Buddhist bonsho, complete with dragon loop on top ryuzu , nipples nyu , and two 'lotuses' shuza for striking with a ramrod.


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If the people of Kyoto said with some justification that its tone was unrefined, those of Osaka could reply that one did not make human sacrifices at bell castings in the twentieth century. All the other rites were doubtless carried out: o n the foundry ceiling to protect the place, the altar set up and the priest's chanting from the moment the metal left the furnace until it entered the mold, and the tossing of the names of the donors inscribed on sheets of copper into the fiery mixture, to make them one with the bell.

For this bell, in keeping with the times, was not born in a pit specially dug for it in a. After the permanent opening up of the country to foreign intercourse in , Christian churches began to appear in Japan and to make themselves known by the sound of their swinging bells. There was no ban on their ringing, no proscriptions on religious ground, as in some Muslim regions, or because of their making too much noise, as in some Christian. This happy state continued until World War II, when all ringing was stopped except for alarm. Another factor then entered which Europe had known since it started using cannon, but which was new to Japan.

Bells were sequestrated for their metal for war purposes. The government claimed the right to confiscate all bells, and in began to remove most of those cast since Bellfounders briefly experimented with a copper-silica alloy, which produced a strong bell of good tone; but a sharp rise in the price of silica made the cost exorbitant. The general standard of workmanship is high. See Illustration IV. A bonsh5 is seldom delivered to the temple until its day of dedication. Few events combine so much color and gaiety with the dignity of a religious ceremony. The townspeople meet the bell on its arrival in the town and escort it in procession to the temple.

In the vanguard a hundred or so children in bright costumes and with gold crowns on their heads hold onto long red and white ribbons, tokens of happiness, which stretch back behind them to the bell. With these they symbolically draw it. Behind the bell carried on a truck walk musicians playing on ancientstyle reeds and flutes, followed by priests wearing colorful robes. They surround their abbot, whose appearance is distinguished chiefly by a hat extending extraordinarily far before and after him, and a pink parasol over his head.

The laity bring up the rear. On arrival at the temple gate the great bell is greeted by singing and the bright metallic sounds of many small ain as a chorus welcomes it with goeika music. The children disperse, and the priests retire while the bell is suspended in its shoro and covered with a white sheet. From the top of it, the red and white ribbons with which the children had guided it to the temple are stretched across the court to the great commemorative stone in the burial plot and fastened securely to it.

This visibly connects the happy occasion of dedication and first sounding of the new bonsh5 with the earth and souls of the ancestors. We are reminded that two thousand years ago the Japanese buried the dotaku in the earth. When the bell is in place, an altar is set up in front of the shoro. On it are flowers and gifts to the bell. Music sounds from the temple porch, and the musicians lead the priests out in procession to the altar. The abbot ceremonially purifies the air around the shoro and censes its pillars.

Prayers are offered, silent except for the exotic instrumental music pouring forth, punctuated by resonant strokes on a dohachi. Then a boy, a son of the donor, comes forward from the.

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The abbot intones an address to the bell. After more prayers, this time spoken, with responses from the priests, one of them invites the abbot to sound the bonsho. He goes up into the shor6, swings the ramrod and gives one stroke. There is absolute stillness while, for the first time, the new Voice of Buddha vibrates the temple air.

The donor and his wife are each invited to give it a stroke. After more ceremony the priests retire, and the congregation is free to ring the bell. For special guests the occasion concludes with dinner in the temple refectory.

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It is outside the scope of this article to discuss whether the Japanese are religious or not. They love their temple bells. While Christians are replacing theirs with electronic substitutes more in keeping with the Computer Age and because they cannot get ringers , Buddhists sound theirs with fervor in the centuries-old way. Both the throaty note of the Shinto crotal heard close by and the tenuous roll of the bonsho over the hills are part of their life and their land.

Studies in Japanese culture. 2 / edited by Calvin L. French.

It is expressed in the words of the poet Basho: Who said there were only eight views of Biwa? The ninth view is the sound of Mii-dera's bell. Date s Type cm. Made in- Made for - Date s Types cm. Sino-Japanese cylindrical shape; hung stationary. Korean barrel shape; hung stationary.