Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Japanese New Year Bell-Ringing Ceremony: Finding Harmony

The annual Bell-Ringing Ceremony follows the Japanese custom in which the end-of-the-year bell (joya no kane) is struck 108 times before midnight on New Year’s Eve, symbolically welcoming the New Year and curbing the 108 mortal desires (bonno), which according to Buddhist belief torment humankind.

The bell was made by Tachibana Kyubei for Daienji Temple in Tajima province, Japan in 1532. The inscriptions on the bell include Buddhist texts and information about the bell’s creation such as the artist’s name, date, and temple name.