Nasake-wa Hito-no Tamenarazu

Ichiyô Kannon


 It would not be too much to say that Jesus in Christianity is equivalent to Buddha in Buddhism while Maria is to Kannon Bosatsu (Goddess of Mercy). In Buddhism, Kannon embodies compassion, mercy, benevolence, kindness, and affection. So, people (especially women) who are compassionate, merciful, benevolent, kind, and affectionate are worshipped and admired in Japan. They are sometimes depicted as “Like Kannon-sama” by other Japanese.

 It is easy to tell them to be compassionate, merciful, benevolent, kind and affectionate, but it is NOT easy at all to be actually like that all the time. That’s when the proverb on top was born so people are to be reminded to behave like Kannon-sama.

 “Nasake” means what Kannon-sama possesses. “Hito” in this case means “others.” Literally it means, “Being compassionate is NOT for others.” You will find its translation in your dictionary – “He that gives lends./ One good turn deserves [asks] another./ Charity is a good investment.].

 Treat people in trouble as if you were a Kannon-sama. You will be treated accordingly.


 (Senju Kannon – One Thousand Handed Kannon)