JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.

Image search results - "bell"
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Bell ringing on Campanile 鐘楼が鳴らし始めたWe asked if the bells were actually rung. The answer was yes. And it was to ring next at 6:30 pm. So we waited 15 min., and sure enough two of the bells started to ring, jerking back and forth. It wasn't as loud as you would think.

鐘楼の上にいたとき、偶然に鐘が鳴らし始めた(午後6:30).
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Dotaku-kun from Yasu, Shiga. Modeled after Japan's largest ancient bronze bell discovered in Yasu. ドウタクくん (滋賀 野洲市)
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Museum entrance with a sign indicating the Homecoming Exhibition for Japan’s Largest Bronze Bell to mark the museum's 25th anniversary.
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Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell on a special homecoming display at Dotaku Museum in Yasu, Shiga.
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Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell is 134 cm high and dated from around 100 BC to 300 AD (Japan’s Yayoi Period).Dotaku bells in Kinki area are known for their protruding "ears," whereas dotaku found in Shizuoka (another dotaku hotbed) usually don't have ears.
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Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell on special display at Dotaku Museum in Yasu, Shiga. This bell was used as a religious ceremonial piece rather than as a real bell.
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About Japan's largest dotaku bronze bell.
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A whole bunch of other dotaku were found in the same area as late as 1962. Most of the bells displayed are replicas, but a few are genuine.
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Japan's smallest dotaku. 3.4 cm high.
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Normally, the largest dotaku is not exhibited here. It is in the Tokyo National Museum.
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This is how the dotaku were buried.
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The dotaku were nestled inside each other. These bells are dated from around 100 BC to 300 AD. The bells were not really used as bells. They were more for decorative and religious purposes.
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Two of the dotaku were acquired by the Tokyo National Museum. The remaining dotaku were scattered among various people. Their whereabouts were unknown until an investigation found 12 of them at temples and Japanese and overseas museums.
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Mold for making a dotaku. Yasu's dotaku found their way to the following overseas museums: Museum of East Asian Art in Cologne (Germany), Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (USA), and Minneapolis Institute of Arts (USA).
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Monument marking the site where the dotaku were found. It's frustrating that none of the original dotaku discovered in Yasu are in Yasu. Another case of bungling and ineptness by local officials. Even one original dotaku would make the museum busier.
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Monument marking the site where the dotaku were found. In 1962, ten more dotaku were found in Yasu.
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Yasu's official mascot, named Dotaku-kun, is modeled after a dotaku.
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A trio of belly dancers.
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.
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Announcement of the winners.
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A good-size crowd watched the dance contest.
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Near the intersection of Ekimae-dori and Route 13 was this entertainment stage.
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Bell tower
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On New Year's Eve, Gotokuji temple allows people to ring the temple bell to ring out the old year in a ceremony called Joya-no-kane.
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The line of people got longer and longer as midnight approached.
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Quite a few people braved the cold to ring the temple bell on New Year's Eve on Dec. 31, 2014.
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Temple bell in sight. Had to wait about an hour.
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Gotokuji's temple bell on New Year's Eve.
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Ringing Gotokuji's temple bell on New Year's Eve.
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Each person got to ring the bell only once.
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Gotokuji Station on early New Year's morning.
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The 36th Noge Daidogei Street Performance Festival in Yokohama, Japan featured an alluring troupe of Japanese belly dancers from the Al Camarani Oriental Dance Company on April 24-25, 2010.
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They were quite good. Lately, I've been seeing more Japanese taking up belly dancing. I hope the trend spreads further.
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Japanese belly dancers at Noge Daidogei in Yokohama.1 comments
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They actually didn't perform on the street. They were next to the train station under a roof.
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They danced in two groups. There's another group dancing on the right of this group.
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They said that they follow the gypsy-style of belly dancing.
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Balancing a sword on their heads while belly dancing.
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Japanese belly dancer.
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Really enjoyed this act too. Also see my video at YouTube.
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Good luck bells greet you at the gravesite.
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Next were these enticing belly dancers from the Komatsu Buyodan. 小松舞踊団 ベリーダンス
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival. Tokyo.
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival. Tokyo.
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival. Tokyo.
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Belly dancer at Yushima Tenjin Plum Blossom Festival, Tokyo.
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They were great.
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Must-see video of the belly dancers at Yushima Tenjin Shrine's Plum Blossom Festival on March 5, 2011.
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