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‘I Want A Japanese Bell’

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Chapter Summary

The author happened to make the acquaintance of Maria when she was working as a Spanish interpreter. Maria was working at the Embassy of Ecuador. She loved Japan and Japanese things. Maria wanted a Japanese bell, a ring gong on the Buddhist altar. Ring gong rang with a rich tone with its high-pitched clear sound and lingering reverberation. A ring gong is one of Buddhist articles used in funeral ceremonies and other Buddhist services. Usually priests strike it when they chant a sutra to mark a pause. To Japanese that sound is associated with death and reminds us of sad and painful memories. Maria wanted to bell to soothe her into sleep, to cleanse visitors, and for giving the bell as a souvenir to her close friends. Used in a unique way, the ring gong would please people of different countries and races.

Keywords: Buddhist altar; Japanese Bell; painful memories; ring gong; sleep; souvenir; visitors



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