Welcoming Descent of the Bodhisattva Jizō

Unidentified artist

Not on view

Veneration of the bodhisattva Jizō (Sanskrit: Kshitagarbha) became widespread during the Kamakura period. Among the iconographies associated with Jizō that originated in this period is this one, in which he manifests in the guise of a monk and rushes through the air to aid the suffering, especially those in hell. Derived from images of the Buddha Amida (Sanskrit: Amitābha) descending to welcome and escort a dying believer to his Pure Land, this painting portrays Jizō surfing the sky on a bank of cloud, his feet upon lotus pedestals. His monk’s robe is decorated with intricate patterns of cut gold. He carries a wishfulfilling jewel and a golden staff with six jangling rings, to announce his arrival.

Welcoming Descent of the Bodhisattva Jizō, Unidentified artist, Hanging scroll; ink, color, and cut gold on silk, Japan

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