Southeast Botanical Garden to get giant Kannon Bodhisattva statue

A 38-meter-tall statue of Kannon Bodhisattva, the Goddess of Mercy, will be moved from Iizuka City in Fukuoka Prefecture to the Southeast Botanical Gardens in Okinawa City. A groundbreaking ceremony for the basement of the statue was held Aug. 22 on the premises.

A teahouse next to the statue for visitors to experience preparing Japanese tea is included in the construction plans.

The statue is currently being taken apart for transfer to Okinawa piece by piece, and will be put together again to open for public in the end of November. The teahouse is scheduled to open within this year.

The statue is covered in gold leaves. Kinzo Norimatsu, a ceramic artist who created the statue, sent this July a wall painting of the statue to Yuinchi Hotel Nanjo that is managed by Tapic, the same company that runs the Southeast Botanical Gardens.

The statue and the teahouse will be located near “Omoiyari Pond” on the premises. The statue is likely to be named as “Ryukyu Kinmiya Kannon Bosatsuzou”, and the site “Ryukyu Kinmiya Gusuku.”

Kinzo says, “I hope that many people from all over the world would come and enjoy the statue and the tea house.”