Ishigami Kan’non


An Avalokiteśvara bodhisattva okimono
Stone embedded in a root and lacquer
Japan, Edo-Meiji period, 19th century
H.: 47 cm

Kan’non is the Japanese name of Avalokitésvara (“the Lord who watches”), the bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. Avalokitésvara is the the most revered and most popular Bodhisattva among Mahayana Buddhists.
He is a protean and syncretic Bodhisattva (he can represent all other bodhisattvas), he embodies the ultimate compassion, and can be of female gender in China and Japan, where there are 33 forms of Kan’non. In Tibet, the Dalai Lama is regarded as one of his emanations.