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Jizo.


When I first came to Japan, the stone statues I saw on the road side and on the
ground of some temples I visited attracted me very much.
They look somewhat strange,and weird, with most of them wearing a red cap and
bib around the neck.
These are some pictures I took at the Zojoji Temple in Tokyo.
Jizo is the Japanese word for the Deity in Buddhism known as Ksitigarbha in the
Sanskrit. It is a being in Buddhahood who leads people to salvation and particularly
to rescue the soul of children, and the ones who died because of abortion.
He is believed to be found everywhere in the 6 transient worlds that are thought
to exist on the way to the realm of enlightment. That's why usually we can find
6 statues in a row, in the gate of some graveyards in the Buddhist temple.
The pictures above are the guardian Jizo for the unborn children. The parents give
offerings and flowers, and pinwheels for their children to play.

Jizo bound with ropes!
In this temple, when you have a wish, you bind the statue with a rope until your
wish is fulfiled, then you should unbind it.

There are many tales about Jizo which I'm trying to collect and will put them
on the web.
The most popular one is the story of Kasa Jizo, which everybody knows.