Gesso, color, kirikane on wood, metal

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


Jizō is a bodhisattva, an enlightened being of infinite grace and compassion who postpones his own buddhahood in order to help living beings escape suffering. Since the 900s, he has been portrayed as a young traveling monk who carries a wish-granting jewel and pilgrim’s staff with metal rings that jingle to announce his arrival. He is popularly believed to assist those condemned to the torments of hell and the wayward souls of deceased children. This sculpture shows Jizō descending from the heavens, as suggested by the cloud bank that supports his lotus pedestal.



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

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Gesso, color, kirikane on wood, metal