Yakushi (Yakushi-Nyorai) The Buddha of healing, or “master of remedies,” Yakushi brings cures for diseases to mankind. As a bosatsu or “future Buddha,” he dedicated himself to helping humankind and made 12 vows as he worked toward enlightenment.

One promised to find cures for sickness and disease; another was to light the east. Yakushi was one of the first Buddhas worshiped in Japan. Artworks often show him with a bowl symbolizing his medicine. The bowl is similar to the mortar and pestle once used by European healers to make their medicines.

Yakushi is one of the six Buddhas of meditation. Those devoted to him say he stands in the east, opposite Amida, lighting the world. Yakushi’s Sanskrit name is Bhaishajya.


Japanese Mythology A-Z – Second Edition – Written by Jeremy Roberts – Copyright © 2010 by Jim DeFelice – Publisher : Chelsea House Publishers