Saturday, January 01, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

A Happy New Year to all of my reader.

We seem to be turning Japanese (not really, fortunately). Last night, we went to the beach to see the last sunset, then just before midnight wandered along to our local temple and joined the rapidly growing queue for the "joya no kane" (New Year's Eve Bells). In theory the first 108 people get to ring the bell once, though I'm not sure if anyone was actually counting, and I don't think there were that many people anyway. I've wanted to ring one of these huge bells for ages...this is actually rather small compared to some of those in the more major temples.

Then this morning we were back on the beach for sunrise, followed by a visit to the main shrine of Hachimangu (after thawing out in a cafe).


crandles said...

Huge??? That is small - You want Liverpool catherdral - much more fun swinging a 4.1 ton bell through 360 degrees ;o) (oh and a full extent of four bells with a couple of extra rounds would also be more fun but I suppose you do have to allow for different cultures.)

James Annan said...

Like I said, this is one of the minor ones. I couldn't find a weight for the biggest in Kamakura (at Engakuji) but I did find a considerably smaller one listed at 2t so it must be several tonnes. The largest in Japan is a good bit bigger again at 49t and dates to 752AD.

Unsurprisingly, Japan doesn't have a tradition of hanging heavy things from tall roofs, so you get up to touching distance with these ones and hit them directly. BONG!

Jesús R. said...

Thanks! Happy New Year for you too!! :)