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Exhibit Catalog to the Morris County Historical Society's "Out of the Closet" Exhibition

The Miracles of Kannon: Western Pilgrimage Site # 9

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Kunisada I (lower part) and Hiroshige II (scenic view)
The Miracles of Kannon (Kannon Reigenki)
West Provinces Ninth Pilgrimage Site: Nanen-do Temple in Nara
Circa 1858
Woodblock print
9 x 13 in.
 
 
Found in the Collection.

Kannon: "The Goddess of Mercy"
 
Kannon (sometimes Kanzeon or Kwannon) is the Japanese name for the bodhisattva Avalokitasvara (or Bodhisattva of Compassion). Kannon takes on 33 manifestations, and the only female form it takes is known as the "Goddess of Mercy."
 
 
 
The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage
 
Kannon's ability to take 33 different forms is the reason why there are 33 temples on this 1500-mile pilgrimage that stretches from Lake Biwa to Kobe, covering Japan's east and west coasts. The pilgrimage route dates back to the 11th century, and each stop is associated with a different miracle that Kannon performed.
 
 
 
Nanendo Hall
 
This print, by Kunisada I, depicts the ninth stop on the pilgrimage: Nanendo Hall, which is situated at the edge of Nara (in Western Japan). This octagonal hall was built in 813, and boasts a treasury that is only on view for the public on October 17 each year. In this print, the viewer can see the octagonal hall in the distance, as the pilgrim stops outside the temple complex.