Jizō, Bodhisattva of the Earth Store (Kshitigarbha)

Kaikei Japanese

Not on view

The bodhisattva who relieves those suffering in hell, Jizō Bosatsu (Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha) attends Amida Buddha as he delivers the pious to the Western Paradise and answers the prayers of all living beings. He is represented here in his usual attitude, with a shaved head and wearing the robes of a Buddhist monk. His right hand grasps a staff (shakujō), which he shakes to awaken humans from their delusions; his left hand most likely held a wish-granting jewel (hōju no tama), signifying the bestowal of blessings.

An inscription on the interior of the figure identifies this as a work by Kaikei, one of the two leading sculptors of the early Kamakura period.

Jizō, Bodhisattva of the Earth Store (Kshitigarbha), Kaikei (Japanese, active 1183–1223), Lacquered Japanese cypress, color, gold, cut gold, and inlaid crystal, Japan

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