A Yayoi period dōtaku
, 3rd century
Dōtaku (銅鐸) are Japanese bells smelted from relatively thin bronze and richly decorated.
Dotaku were used for about 400 years, between the second century B.C. and the second century C.E. (corresponding to the end of the Yayoi era), and were nearly only used as decorations for rituals. They were richly decorated with patterns representing nature and animals, among which the dragonfly, praying mantis and spider are featured. Historians believe that dōtaku were used to pray for good harvests, as the animals featured are natural enemies of insect pests that attack paddy fields. There is a dotaku museum devoted to the bells in Yasu city in Southern Japan.
Media related to Dotaku at Wikimedia Commons