Articles about Japanese Culture
Jizo 地蔵 (or as we Japanese call him Ojizo-sama) is the Bodhisattva (Bosatsu).Jizo statue in Kamakura, Japan
A Bodhisattva is one who devotes his or her life to freeing others from suffering. Usually the Bodhisattva wears gorgeous jewels, but Jizo is simple and portrayed as a child-monk.
The “Ji” (地) in Jizo means Earth. Jizo is the Japanese name of this Bodhisattva, who was also known in ancient India as Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva, the Earthstore Bodhisattva, guardian of the great earth.
The idea came to China from India and was incorporated into Taoism. The Earthstore Bodhisattva became the saviour for those condemned to Hell (地獄).
Jizo’s mission is to protect us during the time from Gautama Śākyamuni Buddha’s death to the arrival of Maitreya Bodhisattva.Jizo Sculpture by Little-Akiko
The Earth gives us everything we need from food to treasure. Jizo is also believed to give us health, longevity, wisdom, wealth, a good harvest, easy birth etc…