Five-pronged Vajra Bell (Gokorei)

early 1300s
height: 16.7 cm (6 9/16 in.); Diameter: 7.5 cm (2 15/16 in.)
Weight: 620 g (1.37 lbs.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Vajras are symbolic weapons, representing the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force), still used in Buddhist ceremonies today.


The five prongs of this bell symbolize the Buddhist “Five Perfections”—generosity, morality, patience, perseverance, and concentration. The mouth of the bell symbolizes the “Sixth Perfection” of wisdom. The bell was used in Japanese Esoteric Buddhist rituals along with vajra pestles, or kongōsho.
Five-pronged Vajra Bell (Gokorei)

Five-pronged Vajra Bell (Gokorei)

early 1300s

Japan, Kamakura period (1185–1333)

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