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Traveling Sets and Ritual Performance

Traveling Sets and Ritual Performance

Chapter Three Traveling Sets and Ritual Performance
Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan
Sherry D. Fowler
University of Hawai'i Press

Two wooden sculpture sets of Six Kannon, the thirteenth-century set from Daihōonji in Kyoto attributed to the artist Higō Jōkei and the fourteenth-century set from Tōmyōji in the Minami Yamashiro district of Kyoto, are well-documented sets that show the history, modifications, and movement of the cult. Copious inscriptions inside images in the respective sets reveal diverse sponsorship, from an elite female patron in the former to a huge group of patrons from a variety of backgrounds in the latter. Extant thirteenth- to fifteenth-century written records on ritual procedures, such as Roku Kannon gōgyōki, which focused on Six Kannon, contribute to the knowledge of how the rituals related to Six Kannon were performed as well as how the Six Kannon functioned in response to different needs, such as assisting with the six paths, protecting the dharma, or bolstering sectarian heritage, throughout their changing circumstances and movement over time.

Keywords:   Japan, Daihōonji, Tōmyōji, Kitano Sutra Hall, Kyōōdō, Roku Kannon gōgyōki, ritual, Higō Jōkei, Kamakura period, Sankeien

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