Edo Period, Circa 1865, Japanese Bronze/Copper Flashed Figural Inkwell of a male sitting on one leg. Straining facial expression as he holds large Japanese bell. Upturned the bell is lidded inkwell with original 19th Century glass to hold ink. In excellent condition. 3" high. On Japanese New Years Eve, right on the stroke of midnight, Buddhist temples around Japan ring the tsura-gane bell 108 times. Buddhists believe that mankind has 108 serious sins or defilements that stop them from reaching nirvana. In Japanese culture it's believed that ringing the bell 108 times at the end of the year is supposed to free us of those sins for the beginning of the New Year.