Bell At Nishi Honganji Temple

Bell at Nishi Honganji Temple
Shot in Nishi Honganji Temple, Kyoto Tetsu Ozawa

Walking along the corridor between Amida Hall and Goeido Hall, I saw the bell

It must have been unexpectedly difficult to communicate with the people around you before the practical use of telephones and wireless technology, let alone the Internet. If you had a smartphone, you could just send a message at once, or if you didn't have a smartphone, you could just call someone on the phone.

In the Muslim world, the first thing that needs to be communicated to the surrounding area is the beginning of the prayer. There are five daily prayers: the early morning prayer, the prayer after noon, the late afternoon prayer, the prayer after sunset, and the prayer before going to bed at night. The call to prayer, called Adhan, is now broadcast over speakers. But in the past, people used to call out loudly from the top of the minaret so that it would echo as far as possible.

It would have been the same here at Nishi Honganji Temple in Kyoto to let people know that a memorial service or ceremony was about to begin. As I walked along the corridor leading from the Goeido Hall to the Amida Hall, I looked to the side and saw a bell hanging on the building opposite. It was not that big, so it might be a summoning bell. If it was a summoning bell, it would be struck at the start of a Buddhist memorial service or ceremony. Even now, with the spread of the Internet and wireless communication, Nishi Honganji still rings this bell in a fixed format to let people know the start of a memorial service or ceremony.


Where is Nishi Honganji Temple?




Shooting Date

Feb 2020

Posted On

April 10, 2021


Nishi Honganji, Kyoto


Still Life Photography





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