Join us for our first ever virtual New Year Bell Ringing Ceremony. Every holiday gathering this year is being reinvented, and our bell ringing promises to be different in some exciting ways.
We begin with a short welcome and discussion with the Rev. Gengo Akiba, his wife, Yoshie Akiba, and Eri Takahashi, who are joining us from the Oakland Zen temple, Kojin-an. The program features prerecorded content filmed at Kojin-an and Tenpyozan, a retreat center the Akibas are constructing in Lake County, California. In addition to the traditional blessing by Reverend Akiba, the chanting of the Heart Sutra, and the purifying 108 rings of a Buddhist temple bell, this year’s event also includes a look behind the scenes of the preparation activities at Kojin-an. We will learn about the meditative process of cleaning the temple, special seasonal decorations and foods, and New Year tea practices.
The bell will be struck 108 times to usher in the New Year and curb the 108 mortal desires (bonno) that, according to Buddhist belief, torment humankind. As you listen to each ring of the bell, imagine leaving behind the unfortunate experiences, regrettable deeds, or ill luck from 2020.
10–10:45 AM: New Year Bell Ringing Storytelling Program
11–11:30 AM: Welcome Remarks by the Consul General Maeda Toru of Japan and Barbara Bass Bakar Director and CEO Dr. Jay Xu, Followed by Discussion of New Year’s Preparations at Kojin-an Temple
11:30 AM–12:30 PM: Bell Ringing Ceremony
Cultural Celebrations are made possible by Bank of America.
Support for the Asian Art Museum’s Japanese Bell–Ringing Ceremony is provided by The Henri & Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation.
Additional support is provided by AARP.