The Boddhisattva Kannon, c 1690.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving after a drawing by J C Scheuchzer based on a Chinese original in the Sloane Museum. A Boddhisattva is a Buddhist deity representing a person who is able to attain enlightenment, but postpones it in order to help others. Kannon came to be venerated in China and Japan as the Goddes of Mercy. From 'The History of Japan' (1727) by Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716). Kaempfer was a German physician working at the Dutch trading post in Japan from 1690- 1692. On his return to Europe he wrote 'The History of Japan', which records many aspects of the country.