Jizo means stone statue and has long been fondly known as ‘Ojizo-sama’ by everyone from children to adults. There are a lot of Jizo at a path between rice fields, a crossing, an entrance of cemetry, and so on. All Japanese know the Japanese folktale told from long ago called ‘Kasa Jizo’.
Jizo is officially called ‘Jizo Bosatsu’ and it is said he would save all living things during 5,670 million years, which means the term between Buddha’s demise and appearance of Miroku-bosatsu in the future.
By the way, we can often see six Jizo (Rokujizo) throughout Japan. The reason is why it has originated from Rokudo-rinne of Buddhist concept;
1. Ten-do; heaven world. Tennin (heavenly beings) can fly in the sky and live without suffering and full of pleasures, but can’t emancipate.
2. Ningen-do; the world of human beings with suffering and pleasures. If human beings attain Buddhahood, they can experience Gedatsu (emancipation).
3. Shura-do; the world where Ashura reside with constant conflicts.
4. Chikusho-do; the world where animals like oxen and horses reside on instinct, without controlling their emotions.
5. Gaki-do; the world where preta reside, there is no water to drink and no food to eat.
6. Jigoku-do; the world of hell for making human beings atone for climes during their life.
Six kinds of Jizo would relieve each of the six worlds, Ten-do, Ningen-do, Shura-do, Chikusho-do, Gaki-do, Jigoku-do.
I am sorry, this photo is not six Jizo but this one is my most favorite Jizo.
They are enshrined in Sanzenin Temple in Kyoto in Japan.
They are located casually in the large Japanese garden and harmonize with its surroundings very well.
When you visit Kyoto, it is good idea to stop by Sanzenin Temple.
Place: Raigouin-cyo 540, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City
Tel: 075 744 2531
Access: Kyoto Bus No. 17 form Kyoto Station→1hour→Oohara bus stop→10min walk→Sanzenin Temple
You can check the suitable hotels in Kyoto form here.