WWII Japanese Buddhist Vajra Bell
Tagged: Buddhist Pilgrim's Bell
March 28, 2018 at 6:37 pm #26494
Purchased a Japanese sword and rifle from a Veterans widow this past week. Then she brings out what the Vet had described as a “Death Bell”. I bought the grouping. It all came back from Japan in 1945. Ive since learned its possibly a Japanese Buddhist Vajdra Bell used by certain sects in Buddhism. Anyone here have any idea about this thing. Either its a silver mix or brass as its non magnetic, very ornate and nicely made!
March 28, 2018 at 6:40 pm #26501
March 29, 2018 at 10:52 am #26518DavidEKeymaster
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March 29, 2018 at 11:45 pm #26526
April 1, 2018 at 2:21 am #26563Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
Your beautiful bell is a Buddhist pilgrim’s bell. There is a full-page photo of one very much like yours in The Collector’s Book of Bells by L. Elsinore Springer on page 45. This book may be found in your local public library and/or in a used book store or an online bookstore. Springer says the following about this bell:
Perhaps the most striking use of the lotus motif on bells is seen in the gilded eight-petaled bloom crowning the handle on the familiar Buddhist prilgrim’s bell. Here from the center of the fully opened blossom rises a vajra; below the lotus, silvery cloud patterns are applied all up and down the tall eight-sided wooden handle. With other motifs around the bell proper and with even its tassel significantly knotted in a fourfold meander, this becomes a highly symbolic bell. For centuries, older Buddhists making long pilgrimages to distant shrines carried bells of this description. They rang them zealously as they chanted their prayers while passing through villages, hoping always for alms to help support their journey.
I trust you’ll enjoy this beautiful bell!
April 1, 2018 at 9:43 am #26565
Thank you so much, couldnt even tell if photos went through, so at least I know what it is and that its at least from the 1940`s!
April 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm #26567Carolyn WhitlockParticipant
You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help. It’s all part of paying it forward in appreciation for those who have helped me with my bell questions over the years!
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