Important Cultural Property
H14.5 aperture D22.8 body D24.3
Nara period/8th century
Tokyo National Museum
A hachi is a bowl monks use for begging and eating. As it should be simple and not decorative, the material is specified to be either iron or clay. In the case of iron hachi, monks should fix and reuse them when damaged, up to as many as five times. This is the reason for its name "gotetsu no hachi" (lit. 'five-times-repaired' bowl). This has a corroded part at the bottom, which was fixed by riveting an iron plate. It is written that there were three iron hachi – the one for jōroku (large Buddha statue), the one for Buddha and the one for a virtuous monk – in Hōryūji Garan Engi narabini Ryūki Shizai Chō (lit. the origin and episodes of the halls of Hōryūji temple and the list of its treasures). However, it is not known if this piece is one of them. This is the only surviving gotetsu no hachi known today.