Slow Walk Illustrated Guide


Zentsu-ji Tanjo-in Birthplace Complex (West Temple)

Standing Statue of Avalokitesvara



This is a standing statue of Avalokitesvara. "Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva" is a deity of salvation that intimately witnesses and listens to all that occurs among the people. For this statue, everything including the floating section of the "tenne" (ornamental cloth) has been carved out of a single block that is thought to be wood from Japanese nutmeg trees, and its surface has been finished using a base material finish. This structure and this finish can be linked to the so-called "danzo" lineage, and although fragrant wood, such as sandalwood was conventionally used, in Japan, wood from Japanese nutmeg and Japanese cypress trees, etc., was used as an alternative material. Its bodily proportions similar to that of a child, its voluminous body with considerable depth for its head portion, and the "honpashiki-emon" (wave-shaped pattern) that can be seen on its loincloth are characteristic of wood carved statues of the first half of the Heian period. Additionally, inscribed characters indicating it was "made by Kukai" can be found below its knees, and legend has it that this venerable statue can be linked to Kobo Daishi. As a wood carved Buddhist statue, this is the oldest one that can be found in Zentsu-ji.

Designated Section


Wooden statue: 32.6cm in height


Heian Period


Zentsu-ji Treasure Hall, 3-3-1 Zentsuji-cho, Zentsuji City, Kagawa Prefecture