Bronze Mirror

Title: Bronze Mirror

Location: Japan

Period: Middle Kofun Period

Date: 400/499

Culture: Yamoto

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: Diameter: 12.90cm (excl. jingles) – Taken from the Google Arts & Culture Page

Repository: British Museum

Image Description: Although this bronze mirror now has little more appeal than an old dining room plate, it was once a pristinely shined, copper, ritual piece. Now, a patina green coat covers most of the surface area, disregarding the small areas of cleaned copper that still shine through. The mirror is 12.90cm in diameter, not including the five circular balls evenly placed around the perimeter. At the mirrors center, there is a protruding bump surrounded by five little dimples, comparable to the five balls surrounding the edge of the mirror. Along the inside edge of the mirror there is a triangular ring pattern that repeats itself moving, inward three times. A mirror like this would frequently be tied around the waste of a Shaman, someone with a connection to the spiritual world. An object like this would classically be used in death rituals as bronze mirrors, exactly like this one, are a symbol of the sun god, Amaterasu Ōmikami, the one who “illuminates the heaven”.

Photo Credit: © Trustees of the British Museum


Author: Ryan Mach

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