The Bodhisattva Jizō “Looking Back”

Unidentified artist

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 225

The merciful bodhisattva Jizō is shown leading a soul to paradise. Standing atop a cloud with his left foot forward, he holds a golden staff against his shoulder and wears garments rich with delicate patterns created using cut gold leaf. He turns to gaze at his follower—the viewer, the devotee—with gentle vigilance. Popularly known as “Jizō Looking Back,” or the “Mikaeri Jizō,” this type of image poignantly reflects faith in the bodhisattva’s merciful guidance through the sufferings of the six realms of existence to the bliss of Amida Buddha’s Western Paradise.

On view for rotations 1 and 2

The Bodhisattva Jizō “Looking Back”, Unidentified artist, Hanging scroll; ink, color, gold paint (kindei), and cut gold on silk, Japan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.