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Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva ¨C The Earth Treasury
Also known as Jizo Bosatsu in Japan, this Diety vowed to save all sentient beings in all Six Realms of rebirth between the time of Shakyamuni¡¯s death and the appeareance of Maitreya, the Buddha of Future. He is often seen in priestly garb with a tonsured head. In Japan, sets of six Jizo are erected at crossroads, town entrances, and cemeteries. Each carries an article indicating which of the Six Realms of existence he is responsible for. All carry a staff wit a finial fitted with jangling metal rings. The staff sumbolizes Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva¡¯s vow to save. Introduced into Japan in the Heian period (794-1192), faith in Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva was at first limited to the aristocracy. But as the idea of postmortem hell and heaven developed, it spread among the ordinary people, who believed in the Bodhisattva¡¯s abilities to care for children, ease the pains of childbirth, relieve suffering, and save sentient beings. Today it ranks with faith in Amitabha as one of the most popular. (Derived from: Essentials of Buddhist Images: Kodo Matsunami, p. 76)
One of the most beloved of all Japanese divinities, Jizo works to ease the suffering and shorten the sentence of those serving time in hell. Jizo can appear in many different forms to alleviate suffering. In modern Japan, Jizo is popularly known as the guardian of unborn, aborted, miscarried, and stillborn babies (Mizuko Jizo). These roles were not assigned to Jizo in earlier Buddhist traditions from mainland Asia; they are instead modern adaptations unique to Japan. At the same time, Jizo serves his customary and traditional roles as patron saint of expectant mothers, children, firemen, travelers, pilgrims, and the protector of all beings caught in the six realms of reincarnation. Other modern manifestations of Jizo in Japan, such as the Asekaki Jizo (Sweating Jizo), are unique to Japan and not found elsewhere in mainland Asia. (http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/jizo1.shtml)
This Polychrome Gilt-wood Jizo Bosatsu in Zushi Wooden Image Statue is said to have originated from mid~late Edo era. Exhibits great patination taste for any shibui antique or devotional objects collector and worshipper. Considered in great condition as is.
Measurements (Zushi): Height x Width x Depth = 27 x 9.5 x 8 cm
Jizo Bosatsu's Height = 12 cm
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