Glossary (Phrase list) >> Year End Bell Ring

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Joya no Kane 除夜の鐘


  "Joya-no-Kane 除夜の鐘" is one of the annual events of Japanese Buddhism.  Almost all Japanese temples continue to ring their bells midnight on December 31st.

  It's not a New Year 's celebration, but the act to renounce Bon-no 煩悩 by the end of a year for the fresh new year.

  Joya means "Night on the last day of a year".


Number of ringing: 108 times.  Regular process is to start the bell-ring midnight on 31st so that the year will change while ringing 108 times.


Bon-no 煩悩: Agonies coming from the worldy desires.  Buddhism preaches that every people has 108 Bon-no agonies.


  Visitors Joya Ring  


  Almost all temples in the country usually do not allow worshippers to ring their main hanging bells, but some temples let us ring Joya-no-Kane exceptionally.

  We can hit the large hanging bell at more than a few temples in Kamakura.


- Joya Ring starts around 11:40 p.m. at most temples.


- Some temples deliver the numbered tickets beforehand like around 10:00 p.m.


- Some temples have the limit of the number of the ringing-worshipers. (FCFS basis)


- Some temples allow more than 108 worshipers to ring the bell.  Several people hit together one ring, in this case.


  Joya-no-Kane in Kamakura  


  There are more than 100 temples (shrines not included) in the tiny city.  Therefore, we can hear bell sounds from hear and there while walking around outside or even staying in the house.


Related page: "New Year Holidays" -Seasonal-

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