Gesso, color, kirikane on wood, metal

Jizō, the Bodhisattva of the Earth Matrix, early 13th century

Unknown artist, expand_more
Not on Viewexpand_more

Jizō is a bodhisattva, a divine being of infinite grace and compassion who postpones his own buddhahood in order to help people achieve enlightenment. Since the 900s, he has been portrayed as a young traveling monk who carries a pilgrim’s staff and a wish-granting jewel. He is popularly believed to assist those condemned to the torments of hell and the wayward souls of deceased children. This statue shows Jizō descending from the heavens, as suggested by the cloud bank that supports his lotus pedestal. The exquisite workmanship and extreme elegance of the figure, particularly the serene beauty of the face, are elements associated with the Kei school of sculptors active during the Kamakura period (1185–1336).



Jizo, Japan, Kamakura Period (#251)
Jizō, the Bodhisattva of the Earth Matrix
33 1/16 in. (84 cm)
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Gesso, color, kirikane on wood, metal