Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mikaeri Jizō Bosatsu

Unidentified Artist
Nanbokuchō period (1336–92)
14th century
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
Image: 33 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. (84.5 x 36.8 cm) Overall with mounting: 63 9/16 x 20 9/16 in. (161.4 x 52.2 cm) Overall with knobs: 64 9/16 x 22 7/16 in. (164 x 57 cm)
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Gift of Mrs. J. Watson Webb, 1930
Accession Number:
Not on view
The merciful bodhisattva Jizō is shown leading a soul to paradise. Standing atop a cloud with his left foot forward and a golden staff held back over his shoulder, he turns to gaze with gentle vigilance. Popularly known as the mikaeri Jizō (“Jizō looking back”), this image poignantly expresses faith in his merciful guidance of the soul through the sufferings of the six realms of existence (rokudō, the worst of which is hell) to the bliss of Amida’s Western Paradise.
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