Guze Kannon 救世観音
KEY WORD : art history / iconography
A name often used for *Shoukannon 聖観音, it refers to the simple (non-esoteric) form of *Kannon 観音. Guze does not appear in texts as a name of Kannon, but it appears in a phrase in HOKEKYOU 法華経 (The Lotus Stura) that describes Kannon's power to save those in this world from suffering. The name is also used specifically for the Asuka period sculptures of a crowned bodhisattva *bosatsu 菩薩 figure holding a jewel. These are hard to distinguish from *Nyoirin Kannon 如意輪観音. The single most famous example is kept in Houryuuji *Yumedono 法隆寺夢殿, Nara, and made in the image of Shoutoku Taishi (574-622; see *Shoutoku taishizou 聖徳太子像). The seated images hankazou 半跏像 of Sanzen-in 三千院 in Kyoto and Shitennouji 四天王寺 in Osaka have traditionally been called Guze Kannon, but they differ from the Yumedono image and from the usual form of Shoukannon in appearance.


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