Photo source: Kanzeon-ji temple

Bato Kannon

Kanzeon-ji, Dazaifu

This colossal Bato Kannon, from the Kamakura period, is just one of the many amazing sculptures that are on view in Kanzeon-ji's Treasure Hall, a modern building that was purpose-built to house them.

This fierce sculpture, of the normally mild-mannered Kannon, was created for protection from the Mongol invasions in the 13th century. The enormous statue, 16' 9" tall, is the largest Bato Kannon in Japan. It is made of gilded wood. The horse-head, on top, identifies this statue as Bato, the Japanese form of Hayagriva.