A group of workers have put a mask on the 57-meter tall figure of the Buddhist goddess Kannon to help end the Covid-19 pandemic. A year and a half after the pandemic began, and with no end in sight, any kind of help, especially if divine, would be welcome.
According to Reuters, it took four workers about three hours to carry the massive mask on ropes to the 57-meter high white statue in Fukushima. This is the figure of the Buddhist goddess Kannon, known as the Goddess of Mercy, at the Houkokuji Aizu Betsuin temple.
The statue, built 33 years ago, holds a baby in her arms. It is hollow inside and has a spiral staircase that can be climbed to the height of the goddess’s shoulder. People often visit the statue to pray for a safe birth and ask for blessings for their newborns.
The temple manager, Takaomi Horigane, explained to Reuters that workers came up with the idea for the face mask when they were discussing some restoration work on the statue, which suffered some damage from an earthquake in February. The plan is to keep the mask on until Covid-19 is under control.
On social media it is possible to see both how it looked before and how it looks now. This is how the statue looked without the mask: