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Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan$
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Sherry D. Fowler

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824856229

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824856229.001.0001

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Reconstructing Six Kannon from the Tenth to the Twelfth Centuries

Reconstructing Six Kannon from the Tenth to the Twelfth Centuries

(p.14) Chapter One Reconstructing Six Kannon from the Tenth to the Twelfth Centuries
Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan

Sherry D. Fowler

University of Hawai'i Press

In the tenth century Tendai and Shingon School monks adopted and modified six types of Guanyin found in early Chinese texts, especially Mohe zhiguan, into a cult in Japan. As the monks promoted the constellation of these images as particularly efficacious, sculpture sets were installed at temples in the capital. Many of the main sites that housed Six Kannon images in the Heian period (794–1185) are gone and known only through records, such as the Kyoto temples Hosshōji and Hōjōji. However, rare early vestiges of former sets from this period are found in sculptures from Buzaiin in Ishikawa and Konkaikōmyōji in Kyoto. Evidence for early Japanese images of Six Kannon and their records, such as iconographic manuals, diaries, and chronicles, demonstrate the wide extent of the cult and its images that flourished under elite patronage in the Heian period.

Keywords:   Japan, Buddhism, Six Kannon, Mohe zhiguan, Ono no Ningai, Buzaiin, Konkaikōmyōji, Hōjōji, Heian period, Fukūkenjaku, Juntei

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