Portable Shrine with Batō, Horse-Headed Kannon (Hayagriva Avalokiteshvara)


Not on view

This gorgeous lacquer shrine protects a miniature statue of Kannon, the bodhisattva of compassion, who can appear in six different incarnations, one for each of the six realms of existence (rokudō). The multiple faces and arms are signs of the bodhisattva’s supernatural powers. The outwardly fierce, horse-headed Kannon was popular in Japanese warrior society because of his role as protector of animals, especially horses.

Portable Shrine with Batō, Horse-Headed Kannon (Hayagriva Avalokiteshvara), Fruitwood with cut-out gold; lacquered case with maki-e decoration, Japan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.