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Jizo statue at Ryutakuji Temple, Shizuoka Prefecture

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Jizō Bosatsu Pilgrimage in Kamakura
JIZŌ BODHISATTVA (Sanskrit = Kṣitigarbha)

Origin = India
Guardian of Deceased Children, Expectant Mothers,
Firemen, Travelers, Pilgrims, & Souls in the Underworld

24 Sites of the Kamakura Jizō Pilgrimage. Records show that the Kamakura Jizō Pilgrimage of 24 sites has existed since 1725. With the decline of Buddhism, however, the pilgrimage gradually became obsolete, especially after the Meiji Imperial Restoration of 1868. After Shintō was designated as the state religion, many of the Buddha statues were thrown away, destroyed or just disappeared. In 1901, Jizō worshippers checked how many Jizō statues were extant and confirmed there were 24. To promote worship for Jizō, Buddhist groups reinstated this pilgrimage in the same year. Most of them are located in the city of Kamakura, but a few will be found at the outskirts of the city. <Source: Tadahiro Kondo, Mark Schumacher>

The number 24 should not be ignored. The 24th day of each month is considered Jizō's Ennichi 縁日. Ennichi literally means "related day." This is translated as holy day, a monthly memorial day with special significance to a particular Buddha or Bodhisattva. Saying prayers to the deity on this day is believed to bring greater merits and results than on regular days. The Heian-era document Konjaku Monogatari 今昔物語 (XVII:4) gives Jizo's Ennichi as the 24th day of each month (see note). Even today, the annual Jizō Bon 地蔵盆 ritual (Confession to Jizō Ceremony) is held on August 24 at numerous locations throughout Japan, during which people confess the faults they committed during the year in the hopes of erasing bad karma, and to pray that Jizō will grant them longevity and protect their children. Today the ceremony is often combined with a children's festival (Jizō-sai 地蔵祭) wherein groups of children rotate a lengthy rosary (juzu-kuri 数珠繰り) made of large beads. Touching the beads to one’s head is said to bring good luck.

Order

Temple

Alias

1

Hōkaiji 宝戒寺
Tendai Sect 天台宗

Kosodate Kyōyomi Jizō 子育経読地蔵
Child-Rearing and Sutra-Chanting Jizō
Wood, Height = 91 cm, Dated 1365,

2

Raikōji 来迎寺
Ji Sect 時宗 (Pure Land sect)

Ganjō Jizō 巖上地蔵. Jizō Sitting Atop Rock.
Wood, Height 131 cm, Dated 1384

3

Kakuonji 覚園寺
Shingon Sect 真言宗

Kuro Jizō 黒地蔵 (lit. = Black Jizō). Also known as Hitaki Jizō 火焼地蔵 (Fire-Kindling Jizō) or Kasai Jizō 火災地蔵 (Fire Jizō). Wood. Height 170.5 cm. Kamakura Era (1185-1332).

4

Sugimoto-dera 杉本寺
Tendai Sect 天台宗

Migawari Jizō 身代地蔵. Substitute Jizō. Stone. Height = 103 cm. Date Unknown.

5

Kōsokuji (Juniso) 光触寺
Ji Sect 時宗 (Pure Land sect)

Shioname Jizō 塩嘗地蔵. Salt-Licking Jizō, Salt-Tasting Jizō. Stone. Height 30 cm. Date unknown.

6

Sugimoto-dera 杉本寺
Tendai Sect 天台宗

Amashōgun Jizō 尼将軍地蔵. “Nun Warlord Jizō.” Wood. Late Kamakura Era. Height 150 cm.

7

Zuisenji 瑞泉寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Dokomoku Jizō どこもく地蔵. Literally "Hardship-Everywhere Jizō." Wood. Late Kamakura Period. Height 160.1 cm.

8

En'nōji 円応寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Wabigoto Jizō 詫言地蔵. Lit. = Please Accept My Apology Jizō. Wood. Muromachi Period. Height 74.4 cm. Also called Kosodate Emma 子育て閻魔 (Child-Rearing Emma)

9

Kenchōji 建長寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Shinpei Jizo (Main Hall). 心平寺地蔵. Rest in Peace Jizō. Also known as Menbōshi Jizō 綿帽子地蔵 (Cotton Hat Jizō). Wood. Nanboku Era (1336-1392) 南北朝時代. Height 3.7 meters (without pedestal, which is 2.4 meters); restored in 1414.

10

Kenchōji 建長寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Saita Jizō 斎田地蔵. Wood. Height 5.3 cm. Nanboku Era (1336-1392). Another form of Migawari Jizō 身代地蔵, the Substitute Jizō.

11

Kenchōji 建長寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗
Hansōbō 半僧坊

Shōjōken Jizō 勝上嶮地蔵. Jizō of the Victorious Hills. Also known as Mikokoro 身心地蔵. (Great Compassionate One, lit. = body and soul / mind)

12

Jōchiji 浄智寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Hijiribiku Jizō 聖比丘地蔵. Jizō in the guise of a holy monk. Wood. Kamakura Period. Height 66.0 cm. Attributed to the famed sculptor Unkei.

13

Engakuji 円覚寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Kept in the Shozoku-in 正続院. Little is known about this statue.

14

Engakuji 円覚寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Yagara Jizō 矢柄地蔵. Arrow Jizō.

15

Near Kaizōji Temple 海蔵寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Iwafune Jizō 岩船地蔵. Wood. Height 59.5 cm. Accompanied by two attendants. Edo Era 1690.

16

Jōkōmyōji 浄光明寺
Shingon Sect 真言宗

Abiki Jizō or Amihiki Jizō 網引地蔵. Stone. Height 85.5 cm. Dated to  1313.

17

Jōkōmyōji 浄光明寺
Shingon Sect 真言宗

Yahiroi Jizō 矢拾地蔵. Lit. = Arrow-Gathering Jizō. Wood. Height 74 cm. Naboku Era (1336-1392).

18

Jūfukuji 寿福寺
Rinzai Zen Sect 臨済宗

Kept in museum at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu. Kamakura era. Wood. Height 167.5 cm.

19

Tōzenji 東漸寺

Higane Jizō 日金地蔵 (Lit. = Jizō of Mt. Higane 伊豆の日金山). Gilded Wood, Yosegi-zukuri 寄木造 technique, Inset Crystal Eyes. Height 103.0 cm, Muromachi Period (1462), Made by sculptor Sōen 宗円. Now located at Tōzenji Temple in Yokosuka.

20

Gokurakuji 極楽寺
Shingon Ritsu Sect 真言律宗

Michibiki Jizō 導き地蔵, Guiding Jizō. Wood, 160 cm, Yoseki Zukuri, Crystal Eyes, Muromachi Era.

21

Gokurakuji 極楽寺
Shingon Ritsu Sect 真言律宗

Hikage Jizō. Tsukikage Jizō 月影地蔵.

22

Kōmyōji 光明寺
Jōdo (Pure Land) Sect 浄土宗

Enmei Jizo, Amihiki Enmei Jizō, 綱引延命地蔵. Fishing-Net Jizō, Net-Drawing Jizō, or Tug-and-Pull Jizō. Stone, Height 87 cm, Late Kamakura Era.

23

Enmeiji 延命寺
Jōdo (Pure Land) Sect 浄土宗

Hadaka Jizō 裸地蔵, or Naked Jizō -- also known as Migawari Jizō, or Substitue Jizō. Painted Wood, Crystal Eyes. Height 155.9 cm, Kamakura Era.

24

An-yō-in 安養院
Jōdo (Pure Land) Sect 浄土宗

Higiri JizoHigiri Jizō 日限地蔵. Lit. = Time-Limiting Jizō. Stone, Height 81.5 cm, Kamakura era.

 

Mizuko Jizo at Raikoji Shrine in KamakuraspacerWrites Tadahiro Kondo: “Sugimoto-dera has two Jizō statues. A wooden statue enshrined in the main hall and the other is a stone statue placed open-air in the courtyard. The statue of Yagara-Jizo at Engakuji is no longer extant as it was destroyed by the 1923 earthquake. Only a stone monument stands in the courtyard of Keisho-an, Engakuji. Yagara means an arrow and the story behind this Jizo relates to a samurai called Gongoro Kamakura. During a fierce battle in late 11th century, his left eye was shot by an enemy's arrow. Without being daunted at all, he continued the fight and came back to the camp with the arrow still in his eye. To pay homage to his braveness, a Jizō statue was carved as his guardian deity. Kenchōji has three Jizō statues which are on the list of the Kamakura Jizō Pilgrimage. Since no literature clarifies exactly where those statues are enshrined, I wrote a letter to the Education Department of this temple enclosing a self-addressed envelop and a postage stamp. Ten days later, I received their reply, which said that Saita Jizō is enshrined in the body of the Jizō Bosatsu Statue, the main object of worship at Kenchōji Temple, and Shinpei Jizō at the right-hand side of the main hall surrounded by miniature Jizō statues. <end quote>

Buddhism for the Common Folk
The three dieties Amida, Kannon, and Jizō became especially popular among the common folk during the Kamakura Period, and today remain the bedrock of folk Buddhism in Japan. Amida for the coming life in paradise, Kannon for salvation in earthly life, and Jizō for salvation from hell.

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