Nyoirin Kannon


. Kannon Bosatsu 観音菩薩 - Introduction .


Fudo Myo-O Gallery


Nyoirin Kannon, Wishfulfilling Kannon

Kannon Incarnation with a dharma wheel (hoorin 法輪) and wish-fulfilling gem
Sanskrit: Cintamanicakra

Her six arms are needed to save the being suffering along the six paths of existence(rokudoo 六道).
She is also a protector deity for pregnancies, childbirth and the healthy growth of babies.


Quote from
© Soto Zen Net

Nyoirin-Kannon, who fulfills the wishes of all living things, destroys delusions, and grants wealth, was an especially venerated by Japanese aristocrats of the Heian period (794—1185). Representations of this Kannon appear in the ancient Chinese cave temples at Dunhuang.

Statues of Nyoirin-kannon were first made in Japan in about the eighth century and are of two kinds. The earliest ones have ordinary human forms—one face and two arms—and are seated with the right leg bent and the left leg hanging earthward. Later ones (as shown in the illustration) have one head and six arms and adopt a distinctive pose with one knee raised. Today, most statutes are of the second kind.

One of the three right hands holds the Fabulous Jewel (nyoihoju 如意宝珠), one holds prayer beads, and the third touches the right cheek. One of the left hands holds the Wheel of the Law (rinpo 輪法) and another a lotus flower. The third is in the hand position (mudra) that Shakyamuni is said to have adopted when he attained enlightenment and destroyed the demons of the Earth: the open hand is pressed, palm down, on the ground.

All Nyoirin Kannon statues, no matter what their position, hold the Fabulous Jewel and the Wheel of the Law. According to one theory, the jewel is a modified form of the reliquaries used to hold Buddha relics. As faith in the relics spread, the reliquaries themselves came to be identified with their contents and were believed to grant all believers' wishes and to bestow wealth.

The form of the Wheel of the Law is said to derive from a weapon the Vedic and Hindu god Vishnu threw to slice his enemies in two. In Buddhism, it expresses the way the Buddhist Truth crushes delusion and eliminates all suffering. The Jewel and the Wheel symbolize the benefits bestowed by Kannon.


Nyoirin on a stamp


Nyoirin Statue at the temple Kanshin-Ji, Osaka

© PHOTO : shnomura, Keio University

Canonizing Kannon:
The ninth-century Esoteric Buddhist altar at Kanshinji

by Cynthea J. Bogel

The honzon, or primary icon, of the Japanese Buddhist temple Kanshinji is a statue of the bodhisattva Nyoirin Kannon.

Annually, on April 17 and 18, devotees flock by the hundreds to Kanshinji, located deep in the mountains south of Osaka, to pray to the temporarily revealed secret image. From a respectful distance they beseech the Nyoirin Kannon for blessings through the power of the "wish-granting gem" held in the innermost right hand of its six arms.

Judging by the historical record and applying comparative stylistic analysis, art historians generally date the Nyoirin Kannon sta tue to about 840. It is thus the earliest surviving Japanese representation of this particular bodhisattva, one of many Esoteric forms of the Kannon (Sanskrit: Avalokitesvara).

... a temple record dating to 883 shows that the Nyoirin Kannon image was originally but one icon among a group of statues and paintings made for the altar of the monastery's lecture hall.

Read a rather long article here:
© Cynthea J. Bogel

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. Hasedoo 長谷堂 Hase-Do Hall - Yamagata .

The temple was founded in 1601 by the caretaker for the feudal lord Makino 牧野番内 at the Hasedo Castle, to place his precious seated statue of a Nyoirin Kannon, which had been made around 880 and was about 36 cm high 1尺2寸. It used to be venerated to grant eternal life in paradise and now is famous for its pokkuri sudden death prayers.


. Nyoirinji 如意輪寺 Nyoirin-Ji Temple
kaerutera, kaerudera かえる寺  "Frog Temple" , "Frogs Temple" .

Fukuoka, Yokoguma 福岡県小郡市横隈


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My contribution to this Kannon :
omoi no mama
takara o kureru
hotoke kana

summer dreams -
this Buddha gives all treasures
in abundance


I have more details about

Wishfulfilling Jewel (nyoi hooju 如意宝珠)
Sanskrit: cintamani

.......................................... External LINKs

Painting from the Kamakura Period

宝珠院の本尊 如意輪観音菩薩
Old statue at Temple Hoju-In

New statue, very colorful


Her incarnation as a Japanese deity,
Seiryuu Gongen at temple Daigo-Ji 清瀧権現 , 醍醐寺

According to legend, Shobo (832-909), founder of the Ono branch of Shingon in Japan, had a vision of Nyoirin Kannon and Juntei Kannon atop Mt. Kasatori that led him to found the temple Daigoji on that site. In his vision, the two Kannon spoke through the goddess
Seiryu Gongen (Seiryo Gongen, Seiryoo Gongen).
Early visions of Nyoirin Kannon reveal the way in which the "original substance" (honji) of a deity may serve as a mask of Buddhist orthodoxy through which the "manifest trace" (suijaku) speaks.

Another version tells us that Kobo Daishi introduced this deity from China, adding the character of water to the character of dragon 「瀧」 . This deity is often invoked in rain rituals.



© Komyoji

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Shrine for Seiryu Gongen at Daigo-Ji

Seiryoo Gongen
Esoteric Rainmaking Rituals and the Dragon Lady Zennyo
She is the third daughter of the Indian Dragon Deity Shagara. She had been introduced to China in the temple Seiryoo-Ji, where later Kobo Daishi met this deity and introduced her to Japan.

清滝権現は、インドの娑羯羅竜王の3女善女(ぜんにょ Zennyo Ryuuoo) Zennyo Ryuo 竜王のこと。密教では如意輪観音の化身とする。



Dragon Deity Zennyo
© Koshaji

Zennyo Ryuou, a few survive at Mt. Koya and in Daigoji temple.
This example is more like a visual essay examining two examples, one is the Mt. Koya version by Jochi, an artist monk (active 1120) and the other is a work done in the Kamakura era (13th century) version in Daigoji by another artist monk.
The black line is Jochi's version (now in the Reihokan Museum at Mt. Koya)
the red line is the Daigoji mohon possibly done by Shinken in the Kamakura era.
The one thing that is unclear and no records are found is that Jochi was also at Daigoji (of course a lot earlier than Shinken, Jochi's example is a painting, while Shinken's is a simple line drawing done in sumi ink. Research continues onwards if further material is written.
source : Ryosuke Ueda (fb)

The Dragon Cave Shrine and Zennyo Ryuuoo Shrine 善女龍王社
. Muro Ryuketsu Jinja 室生竜穴神社 .


More about Kannon Bosatsu
Mark Schumacher

More about Dragon Deities
Mark Schumacher

More about the Six Realms (Six Paths) rokudoo
Mark Schumacher


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.................. H A I K U

Nyoirin wa o-hana no kage no negoto kana

Wishfulfilling Kannon -
in the shade of cherry blossoms
she talks in her sleep

Wunscherfüllende Kannon -
im Schatten der Kirschblüten
redet sie im Schlaf

Kobayashi Issa
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

Maybe Issa saw her on a stone under the cherry tree ?
She is often depicted on stone monuments by the wayside.

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

花吹雪 如意輪堂に 逆巻ける 
hana fubuki Nyoirin-Doo ni gyakumakeru

snow of cherry blossoms ...
at the Nyoirin Hall
they swirl in the oposite direction

Honda Sui 本多 綏
(Tr. Gabi Greve)


wakabakaze mi wa Nyoirin no futokoro ni

wind on the young leaves -
I trust my life to the
Wishfulfilling Kannon

Hamamoto Ajisai 濱本 紫陽
(Tr. Gabi Greve)


Wunscherfüllende Kannon
(Nyoirin Kannon; Cintaamanicakra)

"Kannon mit dem magischen Rad, das die Begierden stillt".

Mit dem wunscherfüllenden Juwel und dem Rad der Lehre rettet sie alle Wesen. Spendet weltliche und geistige Reichtümer. Siehe besondere Erläuterungen zum Juwel und dem Rad. Oft als Grabsteinfigur, dann meist in weiblicher Form auf dem Grab einer Frau. Seit dem 8. Jhd. in Japan bekannt, aber erst im esoterischen Buddhismus als Gottheit mit eigenen Zeremonien (Nyoirinhoo) zum Schutz vor Krankheit und Feuer verehrt. Seit dieser Zeit erst Statuen mit mehreren Armen.

Entsprechende japanische Gottheit ist Seiryuu Gongen 清瀧権現 des Tempels Daigoji.

Meist sitzende Figur mit einem Kopf. Anfänglich zwei Arme, seit der Heian-Zeit dann esoterische Form mit sechs Armen zur Errettung der Leidenden in den sechs Existenzbereichen, mit verschiedenen Gegenständen, z.B. dem wunscherfüllenden Juwel, Rad der Lehre, Rosenkranz, Lotusblüte u.a. Statuen mit vier, acht oder 12 Armen sind selten. Das Rad der Lehre wird manchmal auf dem erhobenen Zeigefinger der obersten linken Hand gehalten.
Meist spezieller Flammen-Nimbus.

Hohe Krone mit kleiner Verkörperung. Rechte Hand am Kinn, Ellenbogen auf dem hochgestellten rechten Knie; eine Hand in der Geste der Anrufung der Erde als Zeuge. Am deutlichsten durch das hochgestellte Knie zu erkennen, während das andere Bein in Meditationshaltung eingebogen ist; dabei berühren sich die Fußsohlen der beiden Füße.

Entweder Lotussockel oder spezieller "Strahlender Berg"-Sockel (koomyoosan 光明山), mit überwältigendem Wurzelwerk, bei dem der Hersteller seiner Individualität Ausdruck und Gestalt geben kann. Mit einer Hand stützt sie diesen Sockel, damit der "Strahlende Berg" mit dem Lotussockel nicht ins Wackeln gerät.

Bedeutung der sechs Arme nach Nishimura:
Eine Hand mit Lotusblüte und Rad der Lehre zum Himmel, eine zur Erde: "Alle Wesen zwischen Himmel und Erde sollen sich zum Buddhismus bekehren." Der Rosenkranz bedeutet: "Glaubt an den Buddha, findet den Buddhismus in Euren Herzen!" Hand am Kinn: Nachdenken, wie die doch nicht gläubigen Menschen gerettet werden können. Wunscherfüllendes Juwel: "Alle, die an den Buddha glauben, werden mit diesem Juwel und mit der Lotusblüte belohnt!" Nyoirin Kannon drückt also mit allen sechs Armen gemeinsam die Lehre des Buddha aus.

Bedeutung der sechs Arme nach Nakamura:
Zur Errettung aller Wesen in den sechs Existenzbereichen:
Rechte Hand in nachdenklicher Haltung an der Wange: Bereich der Höllenbewohner. Rechte Hand mit wunscherfüllendem Juwel: Bereich der hungrigen Totengeister. Rechte Hand mit herunterhängendem Rosenkranz: Bereich der Tiere. Linke Hand auf dem Sockel: Bereich der Dämonen. Linke Hand mit Lotusblüte: Bereich der Menschen. Linke Hand mit Rad der Lehre: Welt der Götter.

© Gabi Greve
Buddhastatuen (Buddhastatues) Who is Who
Ein Wegweiser zur Ikonografie von japanischen Buddhastatuen


. Kannon Bosatsu 観音菩薩 - Introduction .



greyfox said...

Very very nice--scholarly in an easily accessible way, artistic, and literary.

Thank you for the comment, and the link--pure joy to read your post.

Gabi Greve said...

広幡山 Kobanzan 観蔵院 Kanzo-In 善應寺 Zeno-Ji
台東区元浅草3-18-5 / 3 Chome-18-5 Motoasakusa, Taitō ward
This temple was founded in 1611 by 証円法印.
The main statue is 如意輪観世音菩薩 Nyoirin Kannon.

Gabi Greve said...

- 神齢山 Shinreizan 悉地院 Shitchi-In x護国寺 Gokoku-Ji
文京区大塚5-40-1 / Bunkyo ward, Otsuka 5-40-1

This temple was founded in 1681 by 亮賢僧正 high priest Ryoken (1611 - 1687)
on behalf of 桂昌院 Lady Keisho-In (徳川綱吉 生母), the mother of Shogun Tsunayoshi.
The main statue is 如意輪観世音菩薩 Nyoirin Kannon Bosatsu.

Gabi Greve said...

Keishooji 継松寺 Keisho-Ji 岡寺山 Okaderazan
三重県松阪市中町1952 / Mie, Matsusaka city, Nakamachi
The main statue is 如意輪観音 Nyoirin Kannon

Gabi Greve said...

A legend from Kyoto
Shotoku Taishi transported a statue of 如意輪 Nyoirin Kannon from Awaji to his place, when a purple cloud appeared above 杉の霊木 the sacred pine tree near 六角堂 the Rokkakudo Temple Hall.