Installing a Japanese Temple Bell
Preparators at the Asian Art Museum install a 2100-pound bronze bell for the Bell Ringing Ceremony on December 31. In this annual tradition at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, visitors, led by a Buddhist priest, mark New Year by ringing a 2100-lb., sixteenth-century Japanese bronze bell originally from a temple in Tajima Province in Japan. Now part of the museum’s collection, the bell will be struck 108 times with a large custom-hewn log. According to custom in several Buddhist cultures, this symbolically welcomes the New Year and curbs the 108 mortal desires (bonno) which, according to Buddhist belief, torment humankind.