Ritual Bell (dōtaku)

Ritual bell (dōtaku)

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Author/ School/ Dating:

Japan, Yayoi Period, 100 b.C. - 100 a.C.

Technique and Dimensions:

Bronze cast on stone molds, height 58.4 cm, base 27.5 cm and 22.8 cm


Gallery I, display case 1 (inv. no. B-835)


Edoardo Chiossone collection, testamentary bequest, 1898

Object Type:

Archaeological find

This ritual bronze bell (dōtaku) with water spiral decoration, whose site of origin is unknown, belongs to a type coming from what was then the Yamato region (Central Japan) of which only a few specimens are known and which are preserved in Japan. The water spiral motif (ryūsui-mon), alternating with a pattern with crossed lattice lines, is typical of the mid Yayoi period, an era which dates to the beginning of the metal age. The ritual value of this find attests to the development of social and settled life, linked to the introduction of agriculture in the Yayoi period, and marked by proto-religious propitiatory rituals.