Kshitigarbha (Jizo Bosatsu)
The Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha, known in Japan as Jizo Bosatsu, is the Bodhisattva of the Earth Womb. In the Buddhist worldview time is seen as cyclical. Death is succeeded by rebirth until a being attains release from this cycle through the Buddha's teachings. Successive lives may take place in any one of six worlds, depending upon one's acts in one's previous life or lives. One of the worlds to which a being might be sent is one of the hells. Jizo is a savior bodhisattva, who guides the faithful and helps those in hell. In Japan, he is also worshiped as the protector of women, children, and travelers. Stone statues of the bodhisattva are often placed at crossroads.
to look at this work
· The monk's staff, held in his right hand, is used to open the doors of hell. The little rings hanging from the top make a clinking sound when the staff is tapped on the ground to warn even the smallest insects so they may escape and not be crushed under foot.
· In his left hand, he holds a jewel of wisdom that grants all wishes. Jizo carries this jewel to infernal realms to illuminate the darkness and ease the suffering of those who dwell there.
· Jizo is dressed in the robes of a Japanese Buddhist monk. He wears a vest over a long shirtlike garment with a shawl wrapped around the upper part of his body.
· The mark on his forehead, urna, refers to his supernatural wisdom. · He stands on a lotus, a Buddhist symbol of all that is pure on earth.
this object was made
| Slideshow | Looking
at Art | Lesson Plans |
Other Resources | About the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection | Arts Education Programs at Asia Society | Credits |
© Copyright 2002 Asia Society