With 11 heads to understand the cries of suffering, and 1000 eyes to see it all and 1000 hands to relieve it all, the 1000 armed Senju Kannon (千手觀音) is one of Japan’s favourite forms of Kannon. Seen its golden covered glory at the Tokyo National Museum earlier this month – the Senju Kannon is this month’s Japan photo of the month.

1000 Armed Golden Senju Kannon in the Tokyo National Museum
Made of wood with gold pigment, cut gold leaf and inlaid crystal eyes, this Kannon was made in the 14th century - and is considered young by Japanese standards.

The many hands hold objects such as: trident; wheel; mirror; bell; bow; arrow; lasso; lotus; grapes and more. For more information on the interesting folk lore, history and the rest of the Six Kannon take a look at the amazingly comprehensive catalog of the 100+ forms of kannon in Japan.

The Tokyo National Museum is a great place to visit – the largest museum in Japan containing some amazing relics, some dating back to 4000 BC. Entry is only 600 yen and it is very easy to access from JR train or metro subway. I had a great few hours at the museum… could have easily spent a few more hours there.