Ritual Chime
On View In:
Gallery 220
Artist:   Japanese  
Title:   Ritual Chime  
Date:   second half 14th century  
Medium:   Gilt bronze  
Dimensions:   3 9/16 x 7 5/8 x 5/16 in. (9.05 x 19.37 x 0.79 cm)  
Credit Line:   The Putnam Dana McMillan Fund  
Location:   Gallery 220  

Buddhist priests strike bronze chimes like this one with a small mallet to signal the start of ceremonies and to mark the titles of sutras (holy writings) as they are chanted. Suspended from small wooden frames, they are placed to the right of the officiating priest. The earliest chimes made in Japan were simple, geometric shapes but, by the 12th century, metalworkers were creating more elaborate, often beautifully detailed examples. This chime is in the shape of a blossoming lotus flower, a Buddhist symbol of purity.

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Tag 'RO-MS-11/(15C75)', on tag  
Classification:   Metalwork  
Physical Description:   lotus shaped; front and back are identical and include 9 seeds each; hole at top of each end  
Creation Place:   Asia, Japan, , ,  
Accession #:   2000.79  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts