Sunday, April 7, 2024

Ikitsuki Giant Kannon


Japan is home to many monumental Buddhist statues, perhaps the most well-known being the one at Todaiji in Nara, though another in Kamakura is also very famous. The ones in Kamakura and Todaiji are quite old, the one in Nara dating all the way back to the 8th Century, however, the late 20th century and early 21st century saw many newer ones erected. like the enormous reclining Buddha in Sasaguri. 

The Bodhisattva Kannon, known to many as a "Goddess of mercy", has had numerous truly gigantic statues of her erected not just in Japan but also across East Asia. Many of these Giant Kannons are depicted standing and are constructed out of modern building materials rather than cast in bronze or carved in wood or stone. The one in Kurume is a good example, or the now demolished one on Awaji Island.

The Giant Kannon on Ikutsuki Island in Nagasaki is among Japan's largest seated bronze statues. It is also one of the least-known.

It stands 18 meters tall including the 3-meter pedestal. It weighs 150 tons. It was erected in 1990.

It was erected for World Peace, the spirits of mariners and fishermen, and to pray for the safety of the fishing boats embarking from the harbour below.

Underneath the statue is a small temple with a 1:10 scale replica of the statue, many other Kannon statues, and a fine pair of Nio guardians.

Ikitsuki Island is accessible via a bridge from Hirado Island which is itself accessible from the Nagasaki mainland. The previous post was a short guide to Hirado.


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