Ichiyö Kannon: Kannon on a Lotus Leaf
1400 s c.
Woodblock print Technique: Woodblock print; ink on paper
Gift of James A. Michener, 1991 (24600)
This woodblock print depicts Kannon Bodhisattva (Sk. Avalokiteshvara) floating on a lotus leaf. According to tradition, the inscription at the top of the print was composed by the thirteenth-century Zen monk Dögen during his return to Japan from China. When Dögen’s ship ran into a storm, the priest began chanting the Kannon Sütra, whereupon the bodhisattva appeared floating on a lotus leaf. The storm then subsided, and Dögen’s ship made its way safely back to Japan. When he arrived, he made a print of the image of Kannon he had seen, along with the eulogy that appears at the top of the print. (from Pathway exhibition 1/29/08-)