This rabbit-shaped clay bell was made in Tochigi prefecture, one of the areas affected by the Great East Japan Quake 2011. These clay bells are called dorei . Inside the hollow animal shape is a round ball of clay that makes a sort of clanking sound when the bell is shaken.
The writing that accompanies the image translates roughly to: “The hill where I once chased rabbits.” It is the first line of a song called Furusato (home land), which most Japanese people know by heart. It expresses a deep fondness for, and longing to return to, the place where one has grown up. It is often sung at graduation ceremonies, was featured at the closing ceremony of the Nagano Olympics in 1998, and has actually been suggested as an alternative national anthem.
Etegami is a traditional Japanese folk art that combines simple hand-painted images with thoughtful words. This was painted with water soluble mineral-based paint block called gansai and brush pen on a soft washi card.