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Archive for Tuesday, May 7, 2013

25 years ago: Local group seeks to return temple bell to Japan

May 7, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for May 7, 1988:

A Lawrence Zen group and the mayor of Topeka had joined forces with the Japanese consul general in Kansas City, Mo., to have a 193-year-old Buddhist temple bell returned to Japan from its current home in Topeka. The 300-pound bell had been taken as a war trophy during World War II by crewmen of the USS Topeka and had been presented by the USS Topeka Reunion Group to the city about 10 years ago. Mimi Thebo of the Kansas Zen Center, 1115 Ohio, had organized a letter-writing campaign to have the bell returned to its original country, a move fully supported by Topeka mayor Doug Wright. After examining the bell and its inscriptions, Hideo Numata, the consul general, had determined that it had been cast in 1795 somewhere in the Shizuoka Prefecture. The bell was thought to have come from a temple in the city of Yokosuka, but that temple was no longer in existence.

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