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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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A Vision at Six Kannon Lake and Six Kannon/Six Kami in Kyushu

A Vision at Six Kannon Lake and Six Kannon/Six Kami in Kyushu

(p.49) Chapter Two A Vision at Six Kannon Lake and Six Kannon/Six Kami in Kyushu
Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan

Sherry D. Fowler

University of Hawai'i Press

The island of Kyushu has an exceptionally high concentration of documentary and physical evidence of past Six Kannon practice in Japan. The miraculous story of the Six Kannon images that appeared at Six Kannon Lake in the Kirishima Mountains fueled the worship of the cult. The varied cult imagery from Kyushu includes the incised bronze sutra container from Chōanji dated to 1141 that had been buried in a mountain in Kunisaki, to a sixteenth-century set from Chōkyūji made by the Shukuin busshi group of sculptors, to the Fumonji seventeenth-century set that had dual Buddhist-kami identities, which was relocated several times over the centuries between different temples and shrines in the Sagara domain. This chapter’s geographic approach makes clear that the strategy of matching Six Kannon with six kami, or six gongen, was a major driving force for the cult in the region of Kyushu.

Keywords:   Kyushu, Six Kannon Lake, Sagara, Chōanji, Shukuin busshi, Chōkyūji, Fumonji, Shingūji, honji-suijaku, gongen

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