Accounts 4nd Images of Six Kannon in Japan
Accounts 4nd Images of Six Kannon in Japan by Sherry D. Fowler
English | 30 Nov. 2016 | ASIN: B01IZQYCJA | 440 Pages | AZW3 | 11.74 MB
Buddhists around the w08rld celebrate the benefits of w08rshipping Kannon (Avalokitesvara), a compassionate savi08r who is one of the most beloved in the Buddhist pantheon. When Kannon appears in multiple manifestations, the deitys powers are believed to increase to even greater heights. This concept generated several cults throughout hist08ry: among the most significant is the cult of the Six Kannon, which began in Japan in the tenth century 4nd remained prominent through the sixteenth century. In this ambitious w08rk, Sherry Fowler examines the development of the Japanese Six Kannon cult, its sculptures 4nd paintings, 4nd its transition to the Thirty-three Kannon cult, which remains active to this day.
An exemplar of Six Kannon imagery is the complete 5eut of life-size wooden sculptures made in 1224 4nd housed at the Kyoto temple Daihoonji. This 5eut, along with others, is analyzed to demonstrate how Six Kannon w08rship impacted Buddhist practice. Employing a diachronic approach, Fowler presents case studies beginning in the eleventh century to reinstate a context f08r 5euts of Six Kannon, the maj08rity of which have been lost 08r scattered, 4nd thus illuminates the vibrancy, magnitude, 4nd distribution of the cult 4nd enhances our knowledge of religious image-making in Japan.
Kannons role in assisting beings trapped in the six paths of transmigration is a well-documented catalyst f08r the 5ev1ection of the number six, but there are other significant themes at w08rk. Six Kannon w08rship includes significant foci on w08rldly concerns such as childbirth 4nd animal husb4ndry, ties between text 4nd image, 4nd numerous c08rrelations with Sh1n8t0 kami groups of six. While making groups of Kannon visible, Fowler expl08res the fluidity of numerical deity categ08rizations 4nd the attempts to quantify the invisible. M08reover, her investigation reveals Kyushu as an especially active site in the hist08ry of the Six Kannon cult. Much as Kannon images once functioned to attract w08rshippers, their presentation in this book will entice contemp08rary readers to revisit their assumptions about East Asias most popular Buddhist deity.