The Great Bell of Nara


Photos of the Great Bell at Todai-ji, a Buddhist site in Nara, Japan, which I hope to see and hear some day.




Nara Bell Sweeping

Nara Bell Super Tinted








Nara Curtainsnara-sunday-1.jpg

Nara Way Tintednara-nell-cu.jpg






Nara Bell Book

Nara Bell 02 08 1

Nara Bell 02 08 3

Nara Bell 02 08 4

Nara Bell 02 08 6

Nara Bell Hat

Nara Bell Woman

Nara NYPL 1

From the collection of the New York Public Library

Nara Bell with Kanji

Nara Bell Uniform

Nara Bell 3 People

Nara Bell Orange

Nara Bell Stamp Small

Nara Bell 21.jpg

Nara Bell 22.jpg

On the back of the card above, a note: “Our driver, K. Okuda, rung this bell for me at Nara, Japan, Aug 10, 1931.”

Nara Bell 23.jpg

Handwritten note on the photo above: “The Daibutsu Bell Tower, Rebuilt 780 years ago,” and a red stamp impression from the Matsuyama-Rokumeiyen Photo Works, Nara, Japan.

Nara Bell Modern

An unexpected find: bell ringers in modern, western dress.


These images are from postcards and photos, with the exception of the last, a stereopticon slide, with this note on the back: “No. 670 THE HANGING BELL OF NARA, JAPAN. Near the fine Buddhist temple of Ni-gwatsu-do stands a substantial belfry containing a famous bell, which was cast A.D. 732 [actually circa 752 and recast in 1239]. Its height is 13 feet 6 inches, greatest diameter 9 feet 1 inch, and greatest thickness at the edge 8.4 inches. Nearly 30 tons of copper and one ton of tin were used in the casting.”

Nara Bell Magic Lantern WEB

A hand-tinted lantern slide of the Great Bell at Nara, from the studio of Takagi Teijiro in Kobe, Japan.  His studio was located at 42 Nishi-machi from 1905 until at least 1929, and sold books of hand-colored photo prints as well as lantern slides, a medium easy to produce and duplicate. It is believed that most of the hand-tinting of the slides was done by workers, rather than by Takagi himself.


13 thoughts on “The Great Bell of Nara

  1. Pingback: The Great Bell at Nara, 1935 « Read, Seen, Heard

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  12. Pingback: Great Bell at Nara, in Heels – Read, Seen, Heard

  13. Pingback: Lantern Slide of the Bell at Nara – Read, Seen, Heard

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