Shoro (a tower housing a big Buddhist bell) (鐘楼)

Shoro or shuro, in which bonsho (a big Buddhist bell) is hung, is placed on the premises of a temple and is used for informing people in the neighborhood of the time by ringing the bell. It is also called Kanetsukido (a place where a big Buddhist bell is to be struck) or Shorodo (a temple housing such a bell).

The term of Shoro is also used for indicating a similar facility in Christian-related buildings (such as in churches and chapels).

In Japan

During the Muroyama period in Japan, some shoro were integrated with the san-mon gates (the gateways to their temples), becoming sho-mon gates (gateways housing big Buddhist bells).

However, for the purpose of informing time, similar facilities are also installed outside religious places, for example, on the premises of government offices.

On the temple premises of Nanto Rokushu (the six Buddhist sects initially based in the Nara capital), a shoro is located in front of or behind a lecture hall but is slightly deviated from the center line of the hall. It is built facing a sutra repository.

Major shoro

The shoro of Horyu-ji Temple (a national treasure)
The shoro in Toin (the east temple) of Horyu-ji Temple (a national treasure)
The shoro of Todai-ji Temple (a national treasure)
The shoro of Myojo-ji Temple (an important cultural property)
The shoro of Ishiyama-dera Temple (an important cultural property)
The shoro of Choko-ji Temple (an important cultural property)
The shoro of Choon-ji Temple (an important cultural property)
The shoro of Kakurin-ji Temple (an important cultural property)

In China

From Northern Wei period to Tang Dynasty period, a shoro was placed together with a koro (a tower housing a drum) in the premises of a palace.