Q is for 観音

Q is for kannon, or the Japanese name for Quan-yin. She is a familiar sight all across Japan, gracing most temples, and in some areas, has statues large enough to be their own landmark. Kyoto actually has a statue of Quan-yin so large that, even though I’ve never seen it up close, I can always spot it from the panoramic views situated across the city.

Quan-yin is known as the Goddess of Compassion, and much like Buddha, is there to help others find their way on the path. I have known of her since my childhood days, when my father collected oriental statues. The bronze statue of Quan-yin remained one of my favorites, and when he was downsizing his collection, it was gifted to me. She now sits on my bookshelf. Seeing her across the country in life-size is a treat I will miss a great deal.

Images hosted on Flickr. 

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Sekizan Zen-in

Sekizan Zen-in

Sekizan Zen-in

Kyoto Momiji 2014 Ichijoji 187

Chionji Flea Market 35

19 thoughts on “Q is for 観音

  1. You know, I’ve seen pictures and figurines of Quan-yin before, and I’m sure I mistook her for the Buddha. Now I know there’s a difference. 🙂

    The statue in the first photo is incredible. Is it bronze?

    By the way,have you heard of a blogging initiative known as 1000 Voices For Compassion? They write about various angles of the topic of compassion, and their next scheduled “group posting” date is today.


  2. That first photo is spectacular! She reminds me of a version of the Madonna – although instead of the sorrow that I often perceive on the Virgin Mary, Quan-yin has a look of strength and durability. I rather like that 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s interesting reading your posts, which I am doing in reverse order now that the challenge is over, just the deep sense of history and tradition that is in Japan. We have that in Australia through our Indigenous Aboriginal culture but you really have to go looking for it. It is not seemingly on every street corner or peering at you from every corner of the city. This is such a rich cultural journey and I wish I could take more of it in but at least I know where to find it. xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.