Fukukenjaku Kannon

Todai-ji, Nara, Japan

The Fukukenjaku Kannon in the Sangatsu-do of Todai-ji stands 12 feet high. It dates to 746 and is made of dry lacquer. The Kannon is flanked by Nikko (right) and Gakko (left) - see previous page. This form of Kannon has eight arms. The statue bears a rather alarming expression for such a compassionate being.

"Fukukenjaku" means "never empty lasso." It refers to the coil of rope which the Kannon holds in one of his lower arms (viewer's right). Kannon uses this rope to catch straying souls and lead them to salvation. The lasso is found in other multi-armed forms of Kannon as well.

Photo source: Nara Buddhist Art (Heibonsha)