Just because you’re a bodhisattva and charged with the un-small task of looking after children and travelers doesn’t mean you never get to kick off your sandals and party. This O-Jizo-sama at Zōjōji temple is ready to blow out the candles on his birthday cake (although he might need help, considering there would be over 1500 of them).
O-Jizo-sama is my favorite of the many images of Buddhism, but even though his statues are always kind and often cute, they make me a little sad too. There are hundreds and hundreds of them at Zōjōji dedicated to the souls of children who died before their parents. Families keep their traditional red bibs and caps bright, and regularly leave offerings; sometimes pinwheels, sometimes flowers, sometimes a warm winter coat.
If you’d like to visit the Zojo-ji temple the next time you’re in Tokyo, visit my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.
And just for fun, here are the eleven strangest shrines in Tokyo, with all the inside scoop on the resident gods’ superpowers
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
6 thoughts on “Party Bodhisattva”
Jonelle, I am enjoying your only in Japan blogs so much. With I were there with you as I was in 2005 (I think it was). You made our trip so joyful and meaningful! Thanks for all that! Phoebe
Thanks Phoebe! ^_^ So happy you’re reliving the fun time we had together!
I love Jizo very much. I hope to make many clay Jizos and leave them around the world. great photos, thanks!
I learned about Jizo from Ninsho – http://bejustbe.exblog.jp/1699477/ – a friend of Eric Gower.
I love the idea of “Jizo DNA” and “Jizo bacteria”!