Here are some thumbnails of the actual Kanji click any to see a full size
I have been collecting Singing Bowls or Bon, for over thirty Years. These are mainly
Himalaya Bowls from Nepal and occasionally, Tibet. I have learned by
now what is real and what is not.
I was extremely excited by this discovery and the bowl is without any doubt,
genuine. After 40 years
of collecting Bowls I have never
heard anything like this incredible bowl. The sound is astonishing. It did
not have a Rindai or Bowl stand but, at present, it stands on a cushion.
I bought my first Japanese bowl in 1978
which was a small bowl and have managed to find two other examples which are
This very large bowl is , in my opinion, something else in both
tone and weight. I have never come across anything like this before. The
bowl is thinner than others I have and that explains the amazing long and
resonant tome it produces when being struck or played. While
tarnished, the bowl has not deteriorated and I would not be happy to clean or polish this bowl
other than advised by a specialist.
Meantime it stays as it is. I have
gently washed the outside and inside with a very soft brush to remove grime but
that is all. The edgeretains traces of gilding. It did not come with a
stand but the stand would probably have been in the approximate shape as the ones for
the two smaller examples
I would have preferred that this bowl be returned
to Japan but it seems that although this has a direct connection with one of
Japans greatest Shoguns it does not seem to be of interest to anyone wishing to
buy the bowl from me. I have spoken directly with the curator of Buddhist art at
Nara Museum in November 2008 and indeed, they would like this bowl but did not
offer anything for it. I never mentioned price. However, I think that it is
There is, however a research tool that can possibly ascertain the provenance
and this is is a catalogue of the art treasures in the temple up to
I was sure that a bowl such as this would have to have been catalogued.
However I went to Nara in November 2006 with my guide Yumiko Hirohama,
and we spoke with one of the priests and he
gave me a photocopy of the pages from the book with images of bowls. I have
matched one up to these.
So why was that bowl taken from Nara?
Catalogue of the Art Treasures of Ten Great Temples of Nara: The Horuji Temple.
5 vols., 6, 8, 7, 5, 8 pp. introduction (in English and Japanese) to a series of
451 images on plates showing images from photographs of the temple
to be one of the world's oldest wooden structures) and its works of art,
including interior and exterior views, floor plans, ornamental carvings, wooden
and clay statues, wall-paintings, shrines, pagodas, etc.
Bookplates of former
owner on title-pages. Large 4to. Cloth, spine of Vol. III torn. Tokyo
(The Otsuka Kogeisha) 1932-1933.
F.A. BERNETT BOOKS 144 LINCOLN ST. BOSTON, MA 02111
email@example.com T: 617.350.7778
Item ID: 43548 Price: $1,650.00
|Recently discovered from an estate sale of an Antique Dealer and placed into an auction.
I think that this should be reunited with the Horyuji Temple in Nara.
This bowl (Rin) is the largest old Rin I have seen. It is 26 centimetres across.
There are modern much larger versions but this is of particular importance and
connected to the most famous of all the Shoguns.
There is an inscription around the outside of the top of the bowl which
(This is the approximate Romanji
translation-click to make larger)
Translated by Megumi Bennett , Australia
Reading fom right to left from the top
ho ryu ji-The Horuji Temple is in Nara and
one of the oldest wooden structures in the world
era kecho kyu means 9th year march
tokogawa ieyaasu no osame means a gift
from togowa ieyasu
Presented by Tokugawa Ieyasu to Horuji Temple in the keicho
TheTokugawa Era in Japan started in 1603.
Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616) was the founder of the Tokugawa
bakufu of Japan,
and ruled from 1600 (officially 1603) until his abdication in 1605.
Cost and values:
While I have some older Japanese bowls, many of my collection are from
Tibet and Nepal. I have some very old bowls and also some modern examples. The older bowls have a better sound, can be very thin and the
tome is usually long and on some cases, very deep and low. The bowl above is also an early bowl but the stand (Daiza) and the striker date from the
1930s as these are inscribed as such. Modern copies of these very large old bowls are now made in Korea. Bowls of this size
including stand and striker can be bought for around £500 ($1000. Smaller ones
cost around £150 ($300) to £350 ($700) However, the one on the taller stand is original. I was bought from a specialist Japanese
Antique store in America. The average price for a bowl is around £200 to £350
depending on condition. A matching stand and striker will probably double the
price. The bowl on its own would need to be in good condition and without
damage, rot or holes. These bowls are very difficult to repair. Its not
impossible but you would need to carefully braze a thin bronze plate or a silver
plate over the crack or hole and polish that edge flat. That will stop the bowl
rattling when struck. It will slightly change the tone but should not damage the
If the bowl has a particular inscription that has good source history can of
course be worth a lot of money but most bowls were simply gifts to local
temples. This would have the name of the family, the year and date presented and
possibly the name of the bowl maker. . Some temples would have many of these
bowls. This practise is similar to modern religions like Greek Orthodox where a
family will present an Icon to a church. That will have been made for the family
and would not, in normal presentation, be an antique.
These are examples of Himalayan Bowls As you can see these bowls are quite different to the Japanese shape
Meditation, these unique instruments can cause the listener to
experience different mood changes depending on the Master
playing them. The actual name is called BON and this means
container. Indeed it is also used as a vessel for eating and
The Japanese Bowls are used in Zen
Buddhism for starting a chant and is
a respected sound that Craig rarely ever plays.
An Introduction to Tibetan, Himalayan-Nepalese and Eastern Singing
The sound of these bowls have impressed the Western listener for a
number of years now. The origins of these bowls and the reason they have
been made so is still a puzzle to many,
Where I am not refuting the religious significance of the use of
sound, the harmonics and the sheer enveloping peaceful all enclosing
feature of these sounds, these bowls have in most cases, no other reason
but for one of eating.
The bowls were made by travelling 'Bowl Makers' who used the local
available metals for manufacturing these simple shapes into vessels for
offering to spirits, departed or otherwise, eating vessels for Monks or
Disciples and perhaps simply cooking pots for the local stews or 'Balti's'
which is a generic word as opposed to a style of food from Baltistan.
Metal bowls are still in use when you order food in Restaurants that
specialise in Indian cookery and it is reasonable to assume that these
bowls were, in the main, used for similar purposes....except for one
Why have most of these bowls such beautiful sounds? Why have some
that sound like the very screeching of hells own devils and then why
have some the ability to raise water in a fountain or a series of little
fountains that rise in perfect form above the very rim of the bowl.
I tried to answer this question many years ago and found that any
bowl like object made of metal or glass can give out a resonating tone.
This is simply the vibration of the bowl shape building in intensity.
The obvious example is when you may have run your finger around the rim
of a wet glass. Indeed there are excellent Crystal Bowls now available
in North America which give off resonate and lasting tones although I
have still to work with these. I have worked with metal bowls for thirty
years and perhaps I am set in my ways now.
What we have in the Bronze Singing Bowl is a richer deeper version of
that range of available tones.
Used extensively in meditation and relaxing techniques today, the
Bowl or to give it its more used name among the cognoscenti, Bon, has
been recorded, played in concerts and used by therapists to relax
patients. Indeed I too use this when asked by the friends that are aware
of my interest in Bon. It is not always a comforting sound though.
Screaming bowls are used by masters to educate the students in the
understanding of Bon. When 'played, the screaming bowl can emit a high
level sound that is extremely penetrative to the ears and brain. If not
understood this particular bowl can cause great pain. So why have such a
It is used so that the listener can stop hearing the sound by turning
the received or perceived, sound off inside their own brain.
What happens is that when the sound is heard, you must not hear it.
This technique is part of the learning of Bon. Hear what is not there
and control what you wish to hear or do not wish to hear.
The various bowls can give out different feelings of mood. I will
partially describe one technique. This technique uses a number of
different bowls but the core example is as follows. Use a soft sound and
a harsh sound. Playing the soft sound allows your listener to feel
comfortable and have nice thoughts.
Playing the harsh sound immediately the soft sound gets quieter makes
the listener think of bad thoughts. Repeating these sounds with the
harsh sound retreating until only the soft sound is being played puts
the listener into a deep relaxed state that continues for up to an hour
after the sounds have stopped altogether. By the time they 'recover',
all their stress, and in nearly all instances, anxieties, have either
gone or are heavily reduced.
This is one way I use the Bon sound to help my friends.
Using one yourself will help you to achieve a personal relaxed state.
I use recordings of Bon that I overlay with Shakuhachi type sounds that
I play on my Clarinet, Didgeridoo or Native American Flutes. I use the
lovely sounds that emanate from these instruments to give the sound of
rustling leaves, gentle breezes, rain on water, pensive bird calls and
many other sounds of nature but all in harmony to the deep resonating
sounds of Bon. Recently converted to Native American Flute and the Didge, I have found
a whole new range of sounds to use in meditation.
I have given concerts on these bowls around the world followed by
individual classes as well as group classes and as more people begin to
understand Singing Bowls there simple message is now becoming a world
wide phenomena. I am asked to obtain special bowls for students and
while this does take time I am usually able to locate and supply these.
Many bowls come from my collection and range between £75 and £800