Jizō Bosatsu, Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk, Japan

Jizō Bosatsu

Muromachi period (1392–1573)
15th century
Hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on silk
Image: 41 1/2 x 19 3/8 in. (105.4 x 49.2 cm)
Overall with mounting: 60 x 24 3/4 in. (152.4 x 62.9 cm)
Overall with knobs: 71 1/4 x 27 in. (181 x 68.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of John M. Crawford Jr., 1969
Accession Number:
Not on view
As veneration of Jizō and reliance on him became widespread during the Kamakura period, he came to be depicted as a single figure descending to aid the suffering and to guide them to paradise. Derived from the raigō images of Amida Buddha descending to welcome a dying believer in the company of this many bodhisattvas, which usually included Jizō, the single-image Jizō raigō portrays him standing in a walking posture, emphasized by the postition of this feet on double lotus pedestals atop a cloud that trails behind as he traverses the Six Realms of Existence. His monk's robe is beautifully decorated with intricate patterns of cut gold. He carries the wish-granting jewel and the golden shakujō, or staff with six jangling rings to announce his arrival. Now barely visible, double lines of gold rays once fanned out around his halo, heightening the gorgeous effect that was part of the vision promised to believers.
Inscription: Saikakuji and Jizo written in ink on back of mounting
John M. Crawford Jr. , New York (until 1969; donated to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bodhisattva Jizo, Guardian of Wandering Souls," February 21, 1990–May 20, 1990.