Dotaku (Bronze Bell)

Title: Dotaku (Bronze Bell)

Creator: Once Known

Date: Yayoi period (ca. 300 B.C.–A.D. 300)

Culture: Japanese

Medium: Bronze

Repository: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Dotaku is thought to have its form influenced by clappers that adorned around domesticated animals, later functioning as a ceremonial or ritual tool. This is evident due to its size, but also how it was buried in fields and hilltops throughout Japan away from society. The Yayoi people were Japan’s first agrarian society and like many other agricultural cultures, harvesting crops and maintaining farmland were influenced by their existing religious and spiritual beliefs. Because of their shifting function they might have been buried as an offering for the earth to ensure a community’s agricultural fertility. The raised engraving around the bell also speaks to the Yayoi people’s advanced casting techniques. 


Author: Isma Mora

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