Jizo ?

View from Mt. Tsukuba I went for a walk in the country side around Mt. Tsukuba.

Spring has come to every corner.

Every life shows his original form again according as the Ho (truth, dharma).
Jizo Bosatsu
I found this statue on the country road.

Everyone in Japan calls him "Mr.Jizo".
He is very popular deity in the folk belief of the Japanese. His statues are quite often seen by the roadside in rural districts. In Japan he is almost always represented as a monk, with shaven head. Usually he stands, holding in his right hand a pilgrim's staff, and in his left hand a pearl.
In the belief of the common people in Japan he especially favors children and the wicked. He was popularly believed as the patron saint of travelers, of children and of pregnant women.

Though looking dirty because he is caught directly by rain and wind, he is loved and sometimes given foods by the people.
"What is Jizo ?" "His real name is "Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha-bodhisatva)". He is believed to have saved all beings in the period from the time of hatsunehan (death, parinirvana) of Shakyamuni to the time the enlightenment of Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya). He enters hell in order to save children and the wicked. "

"References" 1) Guide Text, Japan Guide Association(1981).
2)Japanese-English Buddhist Dictionary, Daito Shuppansha(1991)



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