Chokokuji Temple's Rabbit Kannon Statue – Sado, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Chokokuji Temple's Rabbit Kannon Statue

This giant statue pays homage to this temple's furry residents who keep the landscape pristine.  

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Deep in the forest of this remote island is the Chokokuji Temple founded by Kobo Daishi, the same monk who also established the famous Koyasan temple complex in Wakayama Prefecture in 807.

While the temple has been known for its flowering peonies, in 2018 it gained a new claim to fame: a nearly 20-foot tall “Rabbit Kannon.” 

The dramatic statue is of a large white bunny with an image of Kannon, the goddess of mercy, sculpted onto its chest. The priest had it constructed in honor of the large community of friendly domestic rabbits who help keep the temple’s lawn nicely trimmed. 

Already quite impressive during the daytime, at night the statue reveals another side as the giant bunny’s eyes glow a vibrant red. 

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