Wind Bells Sold In Asakusa

Hanging wind bells
Shot in Asakusa, Tokyo ©Tetsu Ozawa
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A lot of wind bells hanging in souvenir shops in Asakusa

Since ancient times, in many cultures, bells have been used in rituals as tools to summon supernatural beings and humans, and were more of a religious symbol than a mere musical instrument. In Japan, the same can be said for Waniguchi found in shrines and temples. A Waniguchi is a bell that hangs in front of a Buddhist temple and is rung by visitors by waving a rope.

In the world of Buddhism, a Buddhist implement that makes sounds is called a bonongu. According to the Tokyo National Museum, Buddhist rituals and ceremonies use sound not only to mark time and create a rhythm, but also to enhance the religious atmosphere by producing sound. Indeed, ringing a Waniguchi makes me feel as if I have to pray for something.

It is said that wind bells are based on bronze wind bells that came from China. When it was introduced to Japan as a sanctuary, the area where the sound of the bell could be heard was considered a sanctuary, and it was thought to protect people from disasters. With this in mind, the wind bell clanging near the Kaminarimon gate in Asakusa may be protecting worshippers from bad luck, but their sanctuary was surprisingly small in the midst of the bustling city.

日本語
Jun 2021 STILL LIFE TOKYO

Where is Kaminari-mon Gate?

PHOTO DATA

No

11931

Shooting Date

Oct 2020

Posted On

June 8, 2021

Place

Asakusa, Tokyo

Genre

Still Life Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF