Sherry Fowler - Associate Professor of Japanese Art History, University of Kansas
Buddhists around the world widely celebrate the benefits of worshipping Kannon (Avalokiteśvara in Sanskrit), one of the most beloved deities in Buddhism, and believe that when Kannon appears in multiple manifestations the deity’s magnificent powers are increased to even greater heights. This concept has spawned important cults throughout history and among the most significant was the cult of the Six Kannon that flourished in Japan from the tenth through the fourteenth centuries. This talk will focus upon a gorgeous set made in the thirteenth century from Daihoonji in Kyoto. In addition to a discussion of the history of this cult in Japan, the talk will explore motivations for making these images and how their functions change over time.