Kannon is the manifestation of Kwan Yin in Japan and Korea. Although technically considered the same spirit, they do not manifest in exactly the same way nor are they always petitioned in exactly the same manner.

• Kannon protects pregnant and labouring women, children and dead souls

• She bestows the gift of fertility

• She can heal incurable illnesses

• Appeal to her if you seek mercy or forgiveness

• Kannon wards off all forms of danger: appeal to her if you are afraid

In Japan, Kannon presides over dream incubation. Devotees journey to her shrines, vowing to spend a specified time there, sleeping in the spaces allotted for pilgrims. Kannon appears in dreams (typically not until the last night of the stay) to respond to petitions, reveal information or perform healings and miracles. She may manifest in any of her thirty-three forms, as one of her servants or as an old Buddhist priest.


There are thirty-three forms of Kannon including female, male, nun, horse, horse-headed woman, bird, snake, dragon and others.


33. Kannon has thirty-three paths or manifestations. A Japanese pilgrimage route dedicated to Kannon includes thirty-three shrines. The numbers three and eleven are also sacred to her. (Three times eleven is thirty-three.)

When Christianity was suppressed in Japan, secret Christians continued to venerate Mary by substituting images of Kannon. These images, now called Maria Kannon, often contained a hidden cross, but were otherwise indistinguishable from other images of 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.