Some of the earliest musical devices found in Japan date back to the Yayoi period--prior to AD 250. The most import instruments found from this era are the bells, or dotaku. The bells come in two forms: one smaller, and the other larger. The smaller type, which is also the older, was mostly for musical purposes. They are cast in white copper, or bronze alloy. Unlike other larger Chinese and Korean types which were struck from the outside, these had a striker suspended inside.
The larger bells are assumed to serve primarily as ceremonial, as monetary units, or memorial symbols. They are cast in a soft alloy which is musically impractical, and the handle is too weak to support the body.
Tags: Music Culture