Bosatsu : Enlightened One; Enlightened Being

Theoretically Bosatsu is merely the Japanese variant of the Sanskrit Bodhisattva. Prominent Bosatsu include Amida, Jizo, and Kannon. From the orthodox religious or academic perspective, that is the only true definition of the term Bosatsu. However, in the context of popular folk religion, the definition may be a little more nebulous.

Distinctions between Bosatsu and Kami sometimes blur. Jizo and Kannon, technically Bosatsu, are often venerated and treated like Kami, while conversely the Kami Hachiman is sometimes envisioned in the garb of a Buddhist monk and treated like a Bosatsu.




  • Amida Buddha;
  • Bodhisattva;
  • Hachiman;
  • Jizo;
  • Kami;
  • Kannon


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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