MINATURE SHRINES WITH FEMALE IMAGE AND CHILD

Kyoto. 17th century. This is a shrine for the adoration of either Mary or a newly created goddess, Maria Kannon. Sometimes the Kirishtan made images of Mary with Asian features. They looked similar to Shinto or Buddhist goddesses but still represented the Christian Mary to them. Sometimes, unsure of the correct tenants of Christianity after many years of seclusion and prohibition, some Kakure Kirishtan (Hidden Kirishtan) slowly began inventing their own images for worship by mixing characteristics of the Christian Mary and the Buddhist Koyasu Kannon goddess. (Goddess who ensures easy delivery)


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