Jizoo  sai no kawara

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Stone Jizoo 石地蔵 and Sai no Kawara

Jizoo Bosatsu (Kshitigarbha) 地蔵菩薩


getting older -
even the gods
need glasses

年を取る 神様さえかける 眼鏡かな

aelter werden -
selbst die Goetter
tragen Brille

This little Jizoo is quite special with his glasses. I saw him at Oshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea at an amazing Stone Gallery, Sekiraku.

ストーンギャラリー  石楽


................................... Issa has this to say:

jizô sae toshiyoru yô ni konoha kana

even holy Jizo
is looking older...
fallen leaves

Tr. David Lanoue


temple in autumn -
your smile helps me
on the way

This Jizoo has a smile like the little son of my best Japanese friend. Amazing!

ten takashi akaboo Jizoo no egao kana
天高し赤帽 地蔵の 笑顔かな

Bright Autum sky!
Jizoo with his red hood
Smiling peacefully.


pilgrim's path -
a stone to remember
but what ?


azaleas in full bloom
Jizoo's smile



stone lantern with moss -
six Jizoo teaching

in great silence

.. .. .. .. .. a roof of stone
.. .. .. .. .. is all you need
.. .. .. .. .. is all I need


Ishi-jizoo  Zukin no yabureshi  Kan modori

Little Stone Buddha -
Your hood all torn
And the cold coming back!

Fuyu no botchi. Booshi ni koke no Jizoosama!

Graveyard in winter.
For a hood you have moss,
Little Stone Buddha.


cherry blossoms -
on the way to the temple
I think of you

More cherry pictures of 2005, Tanjo-Ji temple in Okayama.


The Jizoo Wheel, Jizooguruma 地蔵車

There is a Japanese Buddhist variant of the Hyakudo Mairi Shinto tradition that involves the beloved Jizo Bosatsu. It is called the 地蔵車. This translates as the Jizo Wheel (which includes the afterlife wheel, goshooguruma 後生車, ごしょうぐるま) and the Bosatsu wheel (bodaiguruma 菩提車, ぼだいぐるま).
Found in front of many temples. When you say your wish while turning the wheel downward, a wish for the afterlife will be granted. When you turn the wheel upward, a wish for your present life will be granted.

Eifuku-Ji, Nr. 54, Shikoku, May 2005

Jizoo Wheel -
a mother places flowers
on the grave

Read more about this Jizoo Wheel at Mark Schumacher's pages:


Jizoo figures heavily in the Haiku of Issa.
David Lanoue has a profound essay on this subject.
Issa and Jizo Haiku

Safety copy is here:

Read this haiku of Issa

suzume no ko jizoo no sode ni kakure keri (1814)

baby sparrow
safe in Saint Jizoo's

And now learn more about the Sleeve of Jizoo's robe

In Shinto mythology
the story goes that between life and death there flows a river.
This river is called Sai no Kawara 賽の河原  (translated it means Sai [Childrens Limbo; Limbo means a region on the border of hell or heaven, serving as the abode after death of unbaptized infants.] Kawara [riverside].
According to Shinto belief, children do not go to heaven or hell, but the souls of the dead babies play on the banks of this river, Sai no Kawara. And one of the things they have to do as their Duty (penance) there, is to stack up pebbles, and build little towers.

However, while doing so, a naughty, horrible devil usually appears who disturbs their playing, breaks their towers up, and scares them. And, it is here where the long sleeves of Jizos robe comes in handy.

Because Jizo is the god who protects children, and he does not fail to protect them there on the banks of the Sai no Kawara. So when scared by this devil, they all jump into the sleeve of Jizos robe, where they hide and feel safe and warm. It is said that in the old days, some of the Jizo statues were covered in pebbles from people
who stacked the pebbles in front of the Jizo, because it is believed, that for every tower of pebbles you build on earth, you help the souls of the dead children to perform their duty there on the Sai no Kawara.

Read my extensive articles about Sai no Kawara.

CLICK here for more photos !

. Sai no Kawara and Mount Osorezan .

- - - - - and

. Sanzu no Kawa 三途の川 River Sanzu, on the way to hell .

Read more about Jizoo Bosatsu Buddhastatues:
... www.onmarkproductions.com/html/jizo

Jizo Bosatsu - Daruma Museum - Introduction

- List of Sai-no-Kawara Sites in Japan
Mark Schumacher has all the details !



kokekoke to sai no kawara e Nehan Nishi

koke koke kok
the Nirvana West Wind blows
toward the limbo for children


WKD : Nirvana West wind (nehan nishi 涅槃西風)

CLICK for more photos

kazaguruma sai no kawara no moozaruto

and Mozart at the limbo
for children



Jizo Bosatsu - Daruma Museum - Introduction

. Daruma Megane ダルマメガネ Daruma glasses .



Anonymous said...

Your Japan always brings me joy and peace, Gabi, as do your haiku.

Anonymous said...

temple in autumn -
your smile helps me
on the way

Gabi san, this is so beautiful -- both the haiku and the smiling "child" :-) Thank you for the pleasure to see Japan with you!

Gabi Greve said...

Loved this Gabi! Here's one for you too...Although I don't know much about the God's of Japan, I enjoyed reading about this one for children.
I do know about Garden Buddha's in my neighborhood.


Garden Buddha from Carole

Thank you so much for this lovely one!

Gabi Greve said...

that is so cute that little fellow with his finger on the page so as not to loose his place
well done gabi san


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pris said...

This is absolutely wonderful!!

Unknown said...



Unknown said...

Jizou san with glass.
It is very interest.
I have never seen such a Jizou san.


Anonymous said...

getting older:

delightful senryu, gabi san! delightful!


Gabi Greve said...

Dear Gabi san

The moral of this story is... memorize the spoken sutra, no need for glasses!

HEHEHEHHE... your pictures of Japan make me yearn to return

domo arigatou gozaimashita


ai... chibi
(Cherry Forum)

Thanks a lot, Chibi san.

This particular Jizoo is from a stone mazon on a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. It is for sale !


Gabi Greve said...

From BLOG 句会:


..... ..... .....

遠目でも 端目にあらず 薔薇の花
 雅び美し 雨にも貴に

Gabiさん おかえりなさい! 

作ってこられたのではありませんか? φ(._.)カキカキ…
\(^o^)/ 待ってるよー!

みやびうつくし あめにもあてに


... ... ... ...


Gabi Greve said...

Dear Gabi,

You write very good haiku! I especially like the one you wrote for the Jizo statue wearing glasses:

getting older -
even the gods
need glasses

Here is one I wrote for a picture of a Jizo statue wearing a red bib at Museki Abe's photo haiku website. I wrote it around the time the actor Christopher Reeve died, who played the American comic book character Superman in a series of popular movies, and who had suffered a horse riding accident which left him a quadriplegic:

In Memoriam: Christopher Reeve

Little Buddha
turn your bib for a moment
into a red cape

--Larry Bole


Thank you very much, Larry, for this haiku and memories of Superman. I have often thought about this connection too!



Gabi Greve said...

Jizo listens to your complaints

冬うらら 人の悩みを 聞きにけり

bright winter day -
he listens to the worries
of the whole world

Look at him by clicking on the haiku.


Anonymous said...

added to
Saint Jizo's jewel...
a plum

o-jizoo no tama ni mochi-sou sumomo kana


by Issa

Tr. David Lanoue

Anonymous said...

elderly gods
will they wait for my prayers
to grow up?

:>) Ella

anonymous said...

The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan

by Karen M. Gerhart

This study is the first in the English language to explore the ways medieval Japanese sought to overcome their sense of powerlessness over death. By attending to both religious practice and ritual objects used in funerals in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it seeks to provide a new understanding of the relationship between the two. Karen Gerhart looks at how these special objects and rituals functioned by analyzing case studies culled from written records, diaries, and illustrated handscrolls, and by examining surviving funerary structures and painted and sculpted images.

The work is divided into two parts, beginning with compelling depictions of funerary and memorial rites of several members of the aristocracy and military elite. The second part addresses the material culture of death and analyzes objects meant to sequester the dead from the living: screens, shrouds, coffins, carriages, wooden fences. This is followed by an examination of implements (banners, canopies, censers, musical instruments, offering vessels) used in memorial rituals.
The final chapter discusses the various types of and uses for portraits of the deceased, focusing on the manner of their display, the patrons who commissioned them, and the types of rituals performed in front of them. Gerhart delineates the distinction between objects created for a single funeral—and meant for use in close proximity to the body, such as coffins—and those, such as banners, intended for use in multiple funerals and other Buddhist services.

Richly detailed and generously illustrated, Gerhart introduces a new perspective on objects typically either overlooked by scholars or valued primarily for their artistic qualities. By placing them in the context of ritual, visual, and material culture, she reveals how rituals and ritual objects together helped to comfort the living and improve the deceased’s situation in the afterlife as well as to guide and cement societal norms of class and gender. Not only does her book make a significant contribution in the impressive amount of new information that it introduces, it also makes an important theoretical contribution as well in its interweaving of the interests and approaches of the art historian and the historian of religion. By directly engaging and challenging methodologies relevant to ritual studies, material culture, and art history, it changes once and for all our way of thinking about the visual and religious culture of premodern Japan.


Term Paper said...

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Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Sai no Kawara 賽の河原
at Osorezan

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

o-jizoo no hiza mo mehana mo koke no hana

in holy Jizo's
lap, eyes, nose...
blooming moss

(Tr. David Lanoue)

Gabi Greve said...

.. Aomori 青森県
北津軽郡 Kita-Tsugaru district

tanuki to kitsune 狸,狐 badger and fox

In the mountain behind 地蔵堂 the Jizo Hall there was another small hall with a few small stone statues.
People called this 賽の河原 Sai no Kawara, the Children's Limbo, waiting to go to the other world after death.
Before the Jizo Hall was built, a fox or a Tanuki roamed there and swindled people who wanted to pass. If this happened, such a person would soon die.
To appease their soul and hold 供養 memorial services for them, the Jizo Hall was erected.

Gabi Greve said...

sai no kawara 賽の河原

14 legends to explore
Nichibun Yokai Database