Intriguing combination, though not Zen?

HerbFebruary 3, 2004

I shouldn't think this is intended to be a Zen garden, but the gravel sets these off quite well, I think? -

Click here to see

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Niwashisan(UK)

Hmmm, looks a bit like an early Hollywood impression of what the martians might land in.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 1:53AM
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bungalow_mikee(z10 CA)

A little heavy, phallic and gothic-looking!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 2:25AM
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edzard(3b Canada)

perplexed,.. i know I'm being taken for a ride, with the comments.. no? you're not serious...
bronze bells are exceptionally important symbols.. garden? ah ..no, not to my eyes. Yet gravel helps keep the feet clean...
new summation of garden??: when you see gravel its probably a garden??
and then for historical interest, one might add that Japan did not really have a bronze age.. after a dabble and an introduction, just went straight to steel.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 3:16AM
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Jando_1(Zone 5 IL)

It looks like two metal sculptures all right. But for some reason I would not associate them with a Japanese Garden.

But two very interesting lanterns, photo 2 and photo 65, are in this group of photos. Photo 65 is very intreguing. I have not seen a lantern like this one before. Anyone know the history behind this one.

Cheers Jando

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 8:16AM
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Herb

I don't like the lantern in photo 2, but I agree about that in photo 65 - I think it's rather attractive. I haven't seen one like it before either. I'm also surprised that the caption says it's a stone lantern. The parts below the light box may be stone, but to my eyes the entire thing looks as though it's made of wood.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 12:35PM
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Niwashisan(UK)

Hmm Edzard, you are not the only one who is perplexed. Bells would normally be suspended in a position where the wooden striker could be swung against them ?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 12:43PM
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ScottReil_GD(z5 CT)

Herb, this looks more like the elephant graveyard you showed us than anything else. And phallic? In a pair? Perhaps looking at some Yayoi fertility goddesses might make Bungalow Mike think otherwise...

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 4:56PM
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acj7000

Is this a quiz? can anyone play?
In the park in the town where I grew up there was a bandstand and a paddling pool, there were benches to sit on and swings to swing on. There were ornamental flower beds laid out with seasonal displays lots of grass and a monument to the parks benefactor one John Cole. No one of these could individually make a claim to being a park all on its own yet together they seemed right.
I visited other places where there were canons displayed and canon balls, when I was young you could climb up on this primitive gun and then they fenced it off and covered that area with fine gravel for easy maintenence. I never ever saw this canon and the gravel as a garden or a anything else other than what it was. It may have been something else according to some secret code I was not aware of but to me it was a canon with gravel around it.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 5:45PM
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bungalow_mikee(z10 CA)

hey, phallic is great.
Still a little heavy.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2004 at 6:39PM
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Jando_1(Zone 5 IL)

Mike or Edzard do you know what type of lanterns these are?

Cheers Jando

    Bookmark   February 5, 2004 at 6:58AM
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Herb

Jando - I don't know about No.65, but according to the book by Saiti & Wado, 'Magic of Trees and Stones', the one in picture 2 is an Omokage lantern.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2004 at 2:40PM
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yama(7b Ga)

Hi all
some time those bells get old and have crack or temlpe can not rebuild building of bell tower financialy, what ever reasons are they do not throw away histrical bells. It looks not best possible way to preserve historical objects, but they are doing the best possible way they could preserve it. desease members of temples put money togather and made those bells. descendants of temples members and the temple it's self will keep it as long as temple and "danka" exsist on earth.

since I can not read sign this is my guess. mike

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 12:05PM
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yama(7b Ga)

Hi June
it is not a lantern. it is bell/gong. some time bell cracks after many years of use, those retired bell/gong are displaying at the temple. (or melted it and make new one ). What ever reason is ,why not in use. it is not a lanteran. ................................... mike

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 6:58PM
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Jando_1(Zone 5 IL)

So Mike, photo number 65 is a bell gong that they put a little roof on for display. If so, good reuse of material, it is very interesting the way they have used it.

And thanks Herb for identifying the lantern in photo 2.

Cheers Jando

    Bookmark   February 9, 2004 at 8:44AM
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Jando_1(Zone 5 IL)

But what does Omokage mean. I could not find out. I like to know the meaning behind the lanterns and I was unable to find this. Any help out there???

Cheers Jando

    Bookmark   February 9, 2004 at 9:05AM
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yama(7b Ga)

hi june
Omokage is like "memory of..." mike

    Bookmark   February 10, 2004 at 2:48PM
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acj7000

I think somebody needs to open a window,
My previous post was obviously too enigmatic.
The first picture shows two bells displayed and set in gravel for some reason that has nothing to do with zen or Japanese gardens.
The lantern in picture 65 is an original, a beautiful but not very practical wooden lantern.
Que?

    Bookmark   February 10, 2004 at 7:10PM
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wasabi_(Z6a WesternNC)

When a bell tolls unheard, is a lantern extinguished?

sabi

    Bookmark   February 10, 2004 at 8:38PM
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Niwashisan(UK)

If practicality were the prime objective of lantern makers would they not be made more similar to street lights. I hope that is'nt too enigmatic.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 4:49PM
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acj7000

No puzzle there Niwashingsan.
A momentary lapse on my part, I forgot that Japan has electricity now.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2004 at 5:46PM
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Niwashisan(UK)

Oooh nasty nasty Tobyjugs

    Bookmark   February 12, 2004 at 1:51PM
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zen_act(ACT Australia)

Late reply to this query - but the bell in question look a lot like a World Peace Bell. We have one in Cowra Australia - see link:

Cheers Kane

Here is a link that might be useful: Cowra Peace Bell

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 11:17PM
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Gorfram(7b W Oregon)

Another late reply:

Although Japan did not have an age in which their technology was limited only to bronze, that doesn't mean they didn't ever use bronze.

Bronze is commonly used instead of steel because it is more easily worked, and can be cast into intricate shapes [Steel cannot be cast: it would turn into (low-quality) cast iron.]
Bronze also doesn't rust :)

Most importantly, bronze has the right strength and flexiblity to make a good bell. Steel would be too rigid, making for an unpleasantly shrill bell tone. Cast iron would have a dull, muddy tone; and also might break upon being repeatedly struck.

I agree with Mike-san: these bells appear to be a memorial of some type, not currently in use due to cracking or lack of a place to hang them (or perhaps in memory of some event), but preserved as monuments for some reason (probably clearly explained on the little unreadable sign :)

- Evelyn

    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 10:10PM
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DonPylant(z8TX)

I pruned in the snow today! What a joy for a guy from Texas! Although the snow stopped, it started again every time the saw rocked the trees.

OK, I know these bells... They are either in Nijo Castle or in a courtyard near the museum at Byodoin Temple. The structures that held them deteriorated and they were not reinstalled after the structures were rebuilt, but put on display inside the courtyard. I must get the slides and verify where they were (when I return to SA). Meanwhile, I will just settle for some more homemade eggNOG and read your comments!

You probably all know that sand, certainly often used in gardens', has longer been used to commemorate a sacred area.

Inspired by Wasabi's comment: If a man is in the forest, and there is not a woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?

sorry...

dp

    Bookmark   December 23, 2004 at 6:13PM
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inkognito

You sound like my son when he was four dp you have rushed to the punch line.
Telling a joke is an art and it is all in the timing of the telling so that the form is more important then the punch line. Japanese are very good at it and so are the English, there are probably a few other obscure connections but...

    Bookmark   December 23, 2004 at 7:19PM
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DonPylant(z8TX)

Who said that was the punch line? Besides, I said I was getting old. It is only a mater of time before I too, am 4 years old.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2004 at 11:24AM
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Gorfram(7b W Oregon)

dp,

Yes.

- Evelyn :)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2004 at 4:49PM
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DonPylant(z8TX)

THERE'S the punch line! So desu, Gorfram!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2004 at 6:57PM
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Gorfram(7b W Oregon)

(So, what's the emotion for smug? ;)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2004 at 1:43PM
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Gorfram(7b W Oregon)

Make that:

"what's the *emoticon* for smug?"

- Evelyn, feeling not-so-smug :)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2004 at 1:09AM
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rainfaerie(SF Bay Area 9)

Good question, Evelyn. Could it be something akin to ;^)?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2004 at 11:14AM
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DonPylant(z8TX)

Speaking of smug Evelyn, I did find the slide of the bells/gongs in question. Here is a photo from a different angle with a sign maybe someone can read? They are in Nijo castle of Kyoto.

Do I get the door prize? (: ) >----I:

d

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 11:57AM
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Gorfram(7b W Oregon)

Thanks, dp :)

I have placed your door prize (6 ft. x 3 ft., solid core steel) in a #10 envelope and mailed it to you: please wait breathlessly by your mailbox for delivery :) :) :)

- Evelyn

(PS to Yama-san: is there any chance of making out a few of the characters on the sign?)

    Bookmark   January 1, 2005 at 12:54PM
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