Jizo Bosatsu (Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha)

Place of production
Era century
Kamakura Period
Height 98 cm Width 50.5 cm
Kyoto National Museum
This image of Jizô Bosatsu (Skt., Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha) sits on a lotus seat, his one leg resting on the pedestal, with a pewter staff in his right hand and a sacred gem in his left hand. This is the so-called Mibu Jizô position. The depiction of attendants at his sides is very unusual. It is assumed that the figure on the left is Enma-ten (Skt., Yama-deva), and Kenrô Jishin (Skt., Prthivi) on the right. Enma-ten is depicted because Jizô and Enma-ô (Skt., Yama-raja) are believed to be consubstantial, and Jishin, the god of the earth, is depicted because Jizô is the deified form of the earth. Elements of Esoteric Buddhism are reflected in this painting.

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