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Seated Fuku-kensaku Kannon

14th century
Artist/maker unknown, Japanese
This hanging scroll depicts a rare Buddhist triad from the Esoteric tradition. Seated on an elaborate lotus throne is the bodhisattva Fuku-kensaku Kannon, whose name literally means “the snare is not empty.” This deity has eight arms posed in different gestures that hold various objects, including a snare, a priest’s staff, and a lotus flower—all reflections of his compassionate nature. The snare (kensaku) refers to the rope held by this deity, which he uses to capture sentient beings in order to lead them to salvation. The figure in armor at the right is Bishamonten, Guardian of the North; to the left is Fudo Myōō (The Immovable), one of the Five Wisdom Kings.

Object Details

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