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Roku Kannon@˜ZŠÏ‰¹
KEY WORD :@art history / iconography
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A group of six forms of *Kannon ŠÏ‰¹, each of which is responsible for saving suffering sentient beings in one of the six realms *rokudou-e ˜Z“¹ŠG. The basic idea appears in the MAKASHIKAN –€ædŽ~ŠÏ (Great Concentration and Insight; 594 ), one of three major texts of the Tendai “V‘ä Buddhism, and the six forms mentioned in this text were then matched with familiar forms of Kannon. In Shingon ^Œ¾ teachings, according to Ningai mŠC (951-1046), the set consists of *Shoukannon ¹ŠÏ‰¹ (for hell), *Senju Kannon çŽèŠÏ‰¹ (for hungry ghosts), *Batou Kannon ”n“ªŠÏ‰¹ (for animals), *Juuichimen Kannon \ˆê–ʊω¹ (for *Ashura ˆ¢C—…), *Juntei yãñ (for human beings), and *Nyoirin Kannon ”@ˆÓ—֊ω¹ (for deities *ten “V). In Tendai texts, *Fukuukenjaku Kannon •s‹ó㮍õŠÏ‰¹ appears in place of Juntei. Juntei appears often in records, but seldom in extant examples of the Six Kannon. Images of the Six Kannon began to be made as offerings for the welfare of the dead and for personal salvation in the first half of the 10c. The Six Kannon appear in the most common form of the rokujikyou mandara ˜ZŽšŒo™Ö䶗… which, from the Heian period, was the focus of the Rokujikyouhou ˜ZŽšŒo–@, a Shingon ritual used particularly for sickness and childbirth. In the *mandara ™Ö䶗… the six forms of Kannon, often with their corresponding Sanskrit motifs *bonjimon žŽš•¶, surround a figure of *Shaka Žß‰Þ holding a golden wheel hourin –@—Ö. The group appears within a moon disc. Below the disc and to the sides are *Fudou Myouou •s“®–¾‰¤ and *Daiitoku Myouou ‘åˆÐ“¿–¾‰¤, and in the bottom center are six figures venerating a moon disc set on a rock.
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