The Bell of Nodera

The Bell of Nodera
The Noderabō next to the bell, depicted in the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō.

The Bell of Nodera

The Bell of Nodera is a story which was used by Toriyama Sekien as inspiration for the Yōkai known as the Noderabō.

The story relates how farmers digging out the roots of potato vines finds them entwined around a temple bell. They take the bell to the nearby temple of Mangyō-ji where the monk exclaims it is from the lost temple of Nodera. Legends state that when war came the monks of Nodera took the bell and hid it so it may not fall into the hands of the enemy. However, it was never retrieved afterwards and so never resurfaced.1

Footnotes

1. Yoda, H. and Alt, M. (2016) “Japandemonium: Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopaedia of Toriyama Sekien.”. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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