Party Bodhisattva

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).

This one is wearing a homemade Little Red Riding Jizo costume
Someone was worried about this one catching a cold during the chilly Tokyo winter.

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
Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, changing the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

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

Published by Jonelle Patrick

Writes all the Japan things.

6 thoughts on “Party Bodhisattva

  1. 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

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