“Suigetsu Kannon”
天王寺 彫はる “水月観音”


繊細であることと雄渾であることが必ずしも相反するわけではないと示す、天王寺 彫はる氏による水月観音の甲羅彫り。指先や白衣などの細やかな表現を疎かにせず、かつ細部にばかり気を取られることなく全体の流れも見事にまとめ上げている。


This is a kora-bori (carapace style) back piece of Suigetsu Kannon by Tennoji Horiharu, which shows that being precise and powerful at the same time is not contradictory. He has not neglected the finer details such as the bodhisattva’s fingers and vestment, and also has not got distracted only by the details but also managed to make the whole thing flow beautifully.

The smooth bokashi (shading) without muddiness, which was created by taking into account the mixing of ink in the needle bundle and under the skin, is worthy of attention. The rich coloring unique to hand-poking gives the work a vivid yet dignified appearance.



Suigetsu Kannon is one of the thirty-three Kannon. Their serene and graceful appearance as they gaze at the moon reflecting in the water has long been loved by many artists, and various works including ink paintings and sculptures were created.

They are commonly seen sitting on a rock near the water but this is not a fixed form, and here the figure is depicted standing on a lotus petal floating on the surface of a lake.

※See Horiharu’s interview here
And see more of his work on Instagram

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