- Henry Johnson
Saucer-shaped gong of Japan. The name means bell/gong (i.e. metallophone) drum. It is similar to the atarigane but slightly larger, measuring 15 cm in diameter. It is used mainly in instrumental gagaku, where it hangs vertically in a circular wooden frame from two cords attached to two projections on its circumference. The frame is supported by a vertical post standing on four splayed legs. The instrument is also found in some spheres of Buddhism as well as off-stage kabuki music. An ornately carved plaque atop the circular frame has the shape of a stylized and blazing flame, a decoration typical in Japanese Buddhism, representing valued treasures as well as Buddha. The player sits cross-legged facing the inside of the instrument and strikes it on the inside with two long round-headed beaters with buffalo-horn tips, one held in each hand. The two main playing techniques are: striking the inside of the bowl once, and striking twice (once with each beater). An early example is preserved in Tōdaiji (Buddhist temple) in Nara. A larger type of ...