Heirinji Temple Bell

Temple Bell

Heirinji Temple Bell, Toshi Yoshida, woodblock print, 1951,

Gift of Sherman Johnsrud, class of 1953

Heirinji is a Japanese Buddhist Temple located on the outskirts of Tokyo.  The temple was built in 1375 and to this day remains a training ground for monks who can often be seen working in the grounds.  Beautiful gardens, flourishing with cherry blossoms in the spring, compliment the peaceful nature of this place.  The bell, along with these cherry blossoms, was the inspiration for Toshi Yoshida’s Heirinji Temple Bell woodblock print.

In his print, Toshi Yoshida captures that beautiful moment during the beginning of spring when these blossoms begin to flourish throughout Japan.  As the monk in the background strikes the Temple bell and ringing tones pierce the surrounding air, so do the cherry blossoms.   Their white, pink highlighted blossoms erupt from the trees and spring forth in the foreground.  The hanging quality to these blossoms forms almost a transparent curtain draping over the Temple bell.  The blossoms also create a sense of balance in the print as their delicate pedals dangle in front of the strong stone blocks of the Temple.

The print creates the feeling of springtime and fashions the sense of harmony, through the imagined, beaming tones of the bell and the blooming cherry blossoms.

Brooke Peterson, Marit Hagen, and Tim Oberle

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Brooke Peterson / / Marit Hagen / / Tim Oberle