Sho Kannon


- Kannon Bosatsu 観音菩薩 - ABC-List -

Shoo Kannon,Shō Kannon 聖観音 / 正観音 Sho Kannon
聖観世音菩薩 Sho Kanzeon Bosatsu

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The Sacred Form of Kannon, the model for other forms of Kannon. Worship of this deity began in India around the 1st or 2nd century AD. Also one of the Six Manifestations of Kannon who protect the six realms of karmic rebirth. In this latter role, Shō Kannon brings salvation to those in the hell realm (in some traditions, Shō Kannon is instead responsible for beings in the realm of hungry ghosts).

Shō Kannon represents the root form, the unchangeable form, of Kannon -- the pure, noble, sacred, holy form -- while his/her other manifestations are commonly referred to as the 33 Keshin or Henge Kannon. Shō comes from the Sanskrit "Arya," meaning holy. In Japan, another name for Shō-Kannon is Guze Kannon, one referring to the simple (non-esoteric) form of this deity. The earliest extant wooden statue in Japan (first half 7th century AD) is the Guze Kannon housed at Hōryū-ji Temple 法隆寺 in Nara.

In traditional Japanese Buddhist art and sculpture, Shō Kannon commonly holds a lotus bud or water vase (see Objects Page for significance of these important icons), and wears a crown that contains a small image of Amida Buddha (called a kebutsu 化仏). The kebutsu symbolizes Kannon’s role as one of Amida's main attendants.

Shingon Mantra (ご真言)
おん あろりきゃ そわか On Arorikyu Sowaka
- source : Mark Schumacher


大宝山来迎院阿弥陀寺 来迎院 Raigo-In

source : Kubota san, facebook

made by 松本喜三郎 Matsumoto Kisaburo (1825 - 1891)
from Kumamoto 熊本市

熊本市春日6丁目8-8 Kumamoto 来迎院 Raigo-In
熊本市春日、万日山(まんにちやま)中腹にある大宝山来迎院阿弥陀寺(たいほうざん らいこういん あみだじ)は、大宝年中(701~703年)、行基(ぎょうき)により創建されたといわれています。かつて万日山は別名阿弥陀寺山とよばれ、ふもとの集落は阿弥陀寺村といわれるほど栄えていました。もともとは法相宗の大寺院で、万日山山上に奥の院、本堂があり、現在来迎院があるあたりは僧坊があったと伝えられています。

- source : www.pref.kumamoto.jp

CLICK for more photos !

- reference - Matsumoto Kisaburo
He was famous for "Living Dolls".
The term iki ningyo did not come into common parlance until the early years of the Meiji Period (1868-1912)

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In 1868, in preparation for a large-scale exhibit of iki ningyo (living dolls)* to be held at the Asakusa Sensoji Temple in the newly christened capital of Tokyo, Matsumoto Kisaburo (1826-1892) created his most enduring masterpiece: a life-sized image of Kannon dressed as a female traveler. The exhibit itself, designed as a series of vignettes involving over 33 individual figures, was a tour de force and represented Kisaburo at the peak of his powers as a ningyo artist. It was based on popular stories of faith and manifestations of the power of the Buddhist deity Kannon, called the Saikoku sanjusan [Miraculous Deeds of Kannon at the 33 places of Shikoku].

This particular image, the Tanikumi Kannon, clothed in rich silken robes and wearing the lacquered cap of a traveling noblewoman, was suffused with a life and vitality that gave these striking figures their name: iki-ningyo or "living" dolls. The graceful pose of the body with the head looking back slightly over her left shoulder, her finely formed hand, ripe and fairly pulsing with life, the index finger pointing delicately into the distance, her enigmatic expression, beatific and haunting, was all masterfully rendered. Her ivory teeth and inset glass eyes, exquisitely executed, completed the image of divinity. Such was the perfection of this particular figure when Kisaburo finished it that, rather than including it in the intended exhibit, he donated the piece to Jo koku-ji Temple in his home town of Kumamoto where it remains to this day as an object of veneration. A second piece was subsequently created for inclusion in the Kannon exhibit which first appeared in 1871.
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. . . . . Kisaburo's Saikoku sanjusan was just one of the many misemono (exhibitions) held at Asakusa Temple during the 19th century.
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According to family documents originally held by Kisaburo’s descendant Serikawa Saburo and reviewed by Kuboto Beisho in his work Ningyo-shi, [Tokyo, 1937], Matsumoto Kisaburo was born on February 15, Bunsei 8 (1826) to an oil salesman named Matsumoto Hambei living in the Ideguchi area of Kumamoto, Hijo Prefecture. Early in life he showed great promise in carving and was apprenticed to a local scabbard maker. His talent and rapid progress soon earned Kisaburo the enmity of his fellow apprentices and abuse at their hands eventually forced him to return home where he crafted lanterns and paper stencils for textile dyeing. At this point he also began to turn his artistic focus on the creation of dedicatory figures called hono ningyo. A local festival tradition venerating the Buddhist bodhisattva Jizo (Kitshigharba) involved the creation of these hono ningyo which were carved and displayed in each neighborhood before being presented to the temple. Competition between the various neighborhoods was quite lively and Kisaburo along with another young artist by the name of Yasumoto Kamehachi soon distinguished himself as a superior artist, each reportedly challenging the other in the creation of increasingly sophisticated forms of ningyo.
Iki Ningyo

The Kisaburo Legacy
Over the some 40 years of iki ningyo production, Kisaburo created literally hundreds of figures ranging from the beautiful to the grotesque, from the erotic to the quotidian. But out of this impressive body of work, only three existing iki ningyo definitively attributable to him remain to attest to his genius: the Tanikumi Kannon at Jokoku-ji Temple, another Kannon image also dedicated to a temple in the Kumamoto area, and, interestingly enough, a male figure at the Smithsonion Institute in Washington DC. The latter being a special commission piece ordered by a gentleman named Kaplan. This piece, remarkable in its attention to detail and its high sense of realism is the only figure known to be signed by Kisaburo, bearing an inset seal on the bottom of his foot.
- source : Alan Pate

- Kisaburo Matsumoto on facbook -


Heilige Kannon
Aarya-Avalokiteshvara, Padmapaani, Padmapani

Orthodoxe menschliche Gestalt. Gehört nicht zu den abweichenden Figuren. Seit im 6. und 7. Jhd. die abweichenden Kannon-Statuen immer häufiger wurde, erhielten die einfachen Statuen diese Bezeichnung.
Zusammen mit Seishi Bosatsu in der Amida-Dreiergruppe. Häufiger als Einzelstatue besonderer Gegenstand der Verehrung, z.B. Yume Kannon, Guze Kannon und Kudara Kannon im Tempel Horyuuji in Nara.
Am 100. Todestag wird diese Kannon mit einer Lotusknospe und einem Lotusblatt verehrt.

Sitzt auf einem Lotussockel.
Hohe Krone mit Verkörperung des Amida. Rechte Hand erhoben zur Geste Fürchtet Euch nicht! oder gesenkt zur Geste der Wunschgewährung. In der linken Hand eine Lotusknospe, mit der rechten diese Knospe aufblätternd (daher der Name "Padmapaani": Der mit dem Lotus in der Hand). Oder ein Wassergefäß, ein Juwel oder einen Wedel in der Hand. Die Gegenstände werden entweder fest in der Hand gehalten oder erscheinen zwischen den gefalteten Händen eingeklemmt.

Als Dreiergruppe mit Jikokuten und Tamonten (Tempel Joshoji, Tokyo).

. . . CLICK for more Photos !


daikan no heso utsukushiku shoo kannon

the beautiful navel
of this Sacred Kannon 
in the great cold

大石登世子 Oishi Toyoko

. daikan, taikan 大寒 "great cold" .
According to the Asian lunar calendar, the 20th day of the first lunar month is one of the coldest days.
Now re-located in January, but it should be February.

source : shokkou/archives

At temple 薬師寺 Yakushi-Ji, Nara


- Kannon Bosatsu 観音菩薩 - Introduction -

. Join the Kannon Bosatsu Gallery - Facebook .

. O-Mamori お守り Amulets and Talismans .

. Japan - Shrines and Temples - ABC List .

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Gabi Greve said...

Daikannon-Ji 大観音寺 - Ningyocho Tokyo
The main statue is
Sho Kanzeon Bosatsu 聖観世音菩薩 Sho-Kannon

Gabi Greve said...

Seirinji Kannon 清林寺 観音 Seirin-Ji Kannon

文京区向丘2-35-3 / Bunkyo ward, Mukogaoka
The main statue is Sho Kanzeon Bosatsu 聖観世音菩薩 Sho-Kannon