Photos of the Great Bell at Todai-ji, a Buddhist site in Nara, Japan, which I hope to see and hear some day.
From the collection of the New York Public Library
On the back of the card above, a note: “Our driver, K. Okuda, rung this bell for me at Nara, Japan, Aug 10, 1931.”
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.
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.”
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.