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Bronze Gong of Naewonsa Temple, Yangsan

양산 내원사 청동북 ( 梁山 內院寺 靑銅金鼓 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Bronze Gong of Naewonsa Temple, Yangsan
Quantity 1
Designated Date 2011.12.23
Address 207, Naewon-ro, Habuk-myeon, Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do

Also known as geumgu or banja, geumgo, literally meaning “iron drum,” refers to a bronze gong, a ritual object used in Buddhist temples. If temple bells were struck during the morning and evening services and other important rituals, the bronze gong was used for more casual purposes, such as to announce the hour of offering or call for a meeting. The Bronze Gong of Naewonsa Temple (currently in temporary custody of Tongdosa Temple) is in a style of a bronze gong with a hollow back. The front side of the gong is divided by two embossed concentric rings into three areas. The dangjwa, the circle in the innermost area, is left plain, and the immediately surrounding area is adorned with an intricate floral design that is a variation of the eight-foil lotus flower design. The outermost area has four elegant cloud motifs at regular intervals. This cloud design is much livelier as well as more stylized than the Bronze Gong with the Inscription of “Daeanwonnyeon” (1085) in the collection of the Donga University Museum. The Bronze Gong of Naewonsa Temple, although a late 11th-century work with a simple front, divided into three areas, and emulating the style of the Bronze Gong of Gyeongamsa Temple in its cloud design, is, nevertheless, an outstanding piece with graceful and detailed ornamental motifs. The gong has two loops attached to its rim whose surface also bears an incised inscription with characters in thick strokes. The inscription states that this bronze gong was made in Geuminsa Temple by Jeongmyo, in the fifth month of the Sinmi year (7th year of Daan), and that twenty pounds of bronze went into the making of this drum. Although the location of Geuminsa Temple is not precisely known, given that it was a Goryeo temple associated with Naewonam Hermitage where the bronze gong was housed, it may simply have been another name for the latter or may be a temple in the vicinity. Meanwhile, the word banja, another name for bronze gong is written as “鈑子”; a transitional spelling between “盤子” in the bronze gong with the inscription “Gyeongamsa” (1073) and “半子” in the bronze gong with the inscription “Daesanwonnyeon (1st year of Daan” (1085). Finally, the character ‘印’ at the end of the inscription is a suffix without meaning used in idu writings, widely found in surface inscriptions on Goryeo-period Buddhist craftworks. This object, in an excellent state of preservation, is also remarkable for the beauty of its ornamental surface design and can be potentially useful for dating other Goryeo-period bronze gongs.