Antique Buddha Museum Statues
Kishimojin Kannon Japanese Lacquered Gilt Wood Zushi Shrine

Kishimojin Kannon

Kind Loving Mother Bosatsu

Circa: early Edo Period, 19th century
H 8.5 in.(21.5cm), W 3.5 in.(9cm), D 2.5 in.(6.3cm)
Newer Zushi: H 11 in.(28cm), W 5.5 in.(14cm), D 4 in.(10cm)
Condition: Missing a small pane on base.
Enshrined in an elegant lacquered Zushi, this Japanese Kannon Bosatsu on a six-tiers pedestal holds a child in her left, and a missing conch once in her right hand. The figure is elaborately hand-carved and painted in classic Tang style. She wears an opulent long robe with a silver halo mounted to the back. Her facial features are rendered with a marvel of subtlety. Such as crescent moon-shaped crystal eyes, and an opened mouth smile baring sharp teeth. It's noteworthy that among thirty-three forms of Kannon, this is one of the rarest portrayed Kannon in painting and sculpture. Initially, she was a child-devouring Yakṣa demon 夜叉. Later she converted to Buddhism and became Bodhisattva Kishimojin 鬼子母神, the merciful Mother Goddess who protects family and children.

Kishimojin first appears in the Lotus Sutra (Hokekyo 妙法蓮華経). Hence she is highly revered in the Nichiren sect of Buddhism. Her iconography is based on the Yakushi Nyorai Kangimo's Divinization of Parental Compassion 大薬叉女歓喜母并愛子成就法. The story relates how the bereaved mothers appealed to Shakyamuni Buddha to protect their children from the child-eating Guizimu (Demon Mother 鬼子母). So the Buddha teaches Guizimu compassion by hiding the youngest of her children. Guizimu frantically searched for her child for days to no avail. Then she went to Buddha for help. He responded: "You have 10,000 children. Why are you so upset with the loss of only one child?" Guizimu instantly comprehended that her misery at losing one child is no match with thousands of suffering women whose children she had eaten. Thus she was transformed into Kishimojin, the Divine Mother of Compassion, as an aspect of the Kannon Bodhisattva.

Jibo Kannon base
Estimated Value $1500
text/call: 510-556-3555

Kishimojin Kannon rt
Kishimojin Kannon lt
Kishimojin Kannon back
Kishimojin Kannon Zushi
Kishimojin Kannon Zushi back
Kishimojin Kannon Zushi Shrine

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