Hand-Painted Clay Bells Produced for Year of the Dragon in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Completed clay bells, hand painted as dragons ahead of the upcoming new year, are lined up at the Musashino Jindaiji Gama pottery plant in Chofu, Tokyo. The plant is in full production as workers meticulously paint on the dragon’s face, as well as the auspicious combination of pine, bamboo and plum trees, nandina berry bushes and other scenes on the seven-centimeter bells known as “dorei.” “Just like a rising dragon, I hope the bells will help make the next year upward looking,” said third-generation kiln owner Ryotaro Baba, 49. in reference to 2024, which will be the Year of the Dragon. The company will produce a total of 8,000 bells by the end of the year.