Kannon (観音, "Kannon") is a goddess who made her first and only appearance in InuYasha as an image on a powerful scroll, the Painting of Kannon. The scroll was used by monks to seal away the Salamander into a state of dormancy.


Kannon, commonly known in English as the Mercy Goddess or Goddess of Mercy, is considered to be the goddess of mercy and compassion. She's the Japanese version of China's Guan-Yin, who is really a female manifestation of India's Avalokitesvara.

In Japanese, the Chinese pronunciation of Guanyin is pronounced Kannon (観音), occasionally Kan'on, or more formally Kanzeon (観世音), the same characters as Guanshiyin); the spelling Kwannon, based on a pre-modern pronunciation, is sometimes seen.   The name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, which means "Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World."

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Kannon presides over her Pure Land in the South called Fudaraku, an island-mountain paradise. This can be seen in paintings that depict the goddess descending the mountain to welcome those who seek her salvation. She is also prominent in sculpture, and her icons grace Buddhist temples all over Japan. Many of these icons have been designated national treasures.

Kannon is a Bodhisattva, which means she has prolonged her own eternal enlightenment to stay behind and help everyone who suffers in this world.


Kannon personifies compassion and is one of the most widely worshiped divinities in Asia and Japan in both ancient and modern times. Kannon's origins are unclear, but most scholars agree that Kannon worship began in India around the 1st or 2nd century AD and then spread to Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and most other Asian nations. Veneration of Kannon in Japan began in the late 6th century, soon after Buddhism reached Japan by way of Korea and China. In Japan, Kannon's paradise is known as Fudarakusen. It is commonly said to be located at the southern tip of India (which supports theories of Kannon's Indian origin).

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