A fine detailed wooden carving of the Goddess Kishibojin carrying a small child in her arms. Including the stand, the piece measures 7 3/4" tall x 3" diameter x 2 1/2" deep. The figure alone measures 4 1/2" high x 1 3/4" wide x 1 3/4" deep. Dates from the late Edo to early Meiji Period, circa 1840-1880. Generally good condition with the normal wear to the color and gesso. The right hand is missing and the toes of both feet are gone. Kishibojin is the Buddhist goddess who looks after children. Kishobojin was previously known as Hariteibo – the female demon who ate children. But she converted to Buddhism by Sakyamuni Buddha and later became the divine protector of children. This deity is also prayed for easy delivery of mothers. The goddess Kishibojin has become widely believed to help with having and raising children since the Edo Period. Located in a former nursery area of Tokyo, the Kishibojin Temple (also known as "Shingen-ji") hosts Tokyo's annual asagao (morning glory) market on its grounds in July. Many people visit this shrine today, particularly in the autumn when the popular "Okaishiki" festival is held. Many collectors of Japanese Buddhistic art mistakenly refer to this figure as Maria Kannon, i.e., a version of Kannon as Mary holding the Christ child. The confusion stems, apparently, from the fact that Kishibojin is always depicted holding a child in her arms, which fact ties in to the central element of the Kishibojin legend.