Posted by: softypapa | December 25, 2007

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure – Antique Wooden Bodhisattva

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa

Japan Buddhist Jizo Figure Antique Wooden Bodhisattva Japanese Buddhist Tokaido Softypapa 

Description

If you take a stroll along nearly any road in Japan you are likely to periodically spot small stone statues set along the roadside, especially at highway intersections and at the boundaries of small towns and villages.  These statues frequently represent the Buddhist divinity Jizo who is the patron god of travelers and pilgrims as well as expectant mothers, children, and even firemen.  Jizo is a bodhisattva or one who has achieved enlightenment yet has remained behind to help others along the spiritual path.  Jizo has a particular interest in children who may be trapped in hell, and the divinity is thought to often intervene on the their behalf and even hide little ones within the sleeves of his robe when roving demons are on the prowl.  Jizo has long been a very popular figure in Japanese Buddhism where he is described as “a friend to all” and “never frightening, even to children”.  Though of Indian origin and originally female, Jizo did first appear in Japan during the Nara period (710-94) where her popularity quickly grew and she was soon regarded as the deity of the common people.  For various reasons Jizo did eventually transform into a male figure in Japan.  However, the divinity’s feminine roots are still evident in the translation of his name which can mean either “womb of the earth” or “earth treasure”.  In fact, Jizo is still sometimes found in Japan in female form especially as the Koyasu (child-giving) Jizo.  Roadside images of Jizo are often found alone or in groupings of six.  The number six being representative of the six realms of reincarnation which encompass all beings trapped within the wheel of life.  We can imagine then that to travelers of old Japan the sight of a roadside Jizo must have been a comforting reminder of the deity’s promise to look after and protect any and all on the road to enlightenment.

About the listed item

This splendid antique Japanese Buddhist Jizo figure is carved from wood and depicts the bodhisattva in a standing position and wearing a expression of benevolent calm.  The statue dates from the late 19th or early 20th century and is in poor condition with broken arms and a missing section of base.  The statue also has chips, marks and scratches from handling and is quite dusty.

Size:
Height: 9.8 inches (25.2 centimeters)
Weight: 8.3 ounces (238 grams)

Click here to see other Jizo items!
Click
here to see more Buddhist items!
Click
here to see additional treasures from Japan!

item code: R1S7-0003655
ship code: G6

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