200 Larkin St
San Francisco, California 94102

22nd Annual Japanese New Year

Bell Ringing Ceremony

A unique, fun, and family friendly way to ring in the new year !

Saturday, December 30, 2007
FREE with museum admission
Children 12 and under always admitted free!
All dates and times are subject to change; please call (415) 581-3500 for the latest information.

10:00 am–2:00 pm: Art Activities
11:00 am: Shakuhachi Performance
11:30 am–12:30 pm: Bell Ringing Ceremony

Please click here for the press release, and click here for ticket information.

Say goodbye to 2007 with family and friends...by taking a swing at a giant temple bell!

Before you embark on your New Year's Eve plans, bring your loved ones to the Asian Art Museum and literally "ring in" the New Year, Japanese-style.

Everyone is invited to participate in the auspicious Japanese tradition of striking a temple bell. This popular event offers the community a memorable opportunity to reflect peacefully upon the passing year.

As in past observances, a 2100-lb., sixteenth-century Japanese bronze bell originally from a temple in Tajima Province in Japan and now part of the museumís permanent collectionówill be struck 108 times with a large custom-hewn log. According to Japanese custom, this symbolically welcomes the New Year and curbs the 108 bonno (mortal desires) which, according to Buddhist belief, torment humankind.

It is hoped that with each reverberation the bad experiences, wrong deeds, and ill luck of the past year will be wiped away. Thus, tolling heralds the start of a joyous, fresh New Year.

There will be a short shakuhachi (bamboo flute) performance preceding the ceremony. Then, Zen Buddhist priest Gengo Akiba Roshi will conduct a blessing and begin the bell ringing. Akiba Roshi is director of the Soto Zen Buddhism North American office. He is also Zen teacher at Oaklandís Kojin-an Zendo.

Hands-on art activities are offered in the education studios to entertain families while waiting for their turn at the bell. Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy two special exhibitions, Stylized Sculpture and History of History.


Numbered tickets to ring the bell are assigned to visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis in South Court beginning at 10:00 am, when the museum opens to the public. No advance reservations are accepted. 108 groups of four to six people will be assembled to strike the bell.

Official Website: http://www.asianart.org/bellringing07.htm

Added by particleboard on November 29, 2007