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Jizou@’n‘ 
KEY WORD :@art history / iconography
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Lit. earth repository (Sk: Ksitigarbha). A bodhisattva *bosatsu •μŽF believed to have been entrusted with the task of saving sentient beings during the period between the death of *Shaka Žί‰ή and the advent of the next Buddha * Miroku –νθΣ who is traditionally expected to appear 5,670 million years after the demise of Shaka. The cult of Jizou does not appear to have been very wide-spread in India, but in China and especially Japan his popularity came to rival that of *Kannon ŠΟ‰Ή whose tendency to manifest himself in many different forms in order to save people from suffering made him immensely popular. In Japan there are records that he was worshipped already in the Nara period, but the earliest extant image of Jizou is that at Kouryuuji L—²Ž› in Kyoto, dating from the early Heian period. Jizou is usually represented either standing or seated in the guise of a monk, with a shaven head and wearing monk's robes. In early examples he holds a wish-fulfilling gem *houju •σŽμ in his left hand while his right hand displays the wish-granting mudra *yogan-in —^Šθˆσ. Later examples, from about the mid-Heian period onwards show him holding a gem in his left hand and a staff *shakujou Žΰρ in his right, and this has since become the standard form. Some other variant forms are as follows: Yata Jizou –ξ“c’n‘  (the prototype for which is found at Kongousenji ‹ΰ„ŽRŽ›, also known as Yatadera –ξ“cŽ› in Nara), holds a gem in his left hand and displays the mudra for bestwoing fearlessness *semui-in Ž{–³ˆΨˆσ with his right hand; Enmei Jizou ‰„–½’n‘  (Longevity), seated with the left leg pendent; Hadakajizou —‡’n‘  (Naked), with the image clothed in real robes and not carved as part of the image; Hibou Jizou ”ν–X’n‘  (Hatted) with his head covered. Karate Jizou ‹σŽθ’n‘  (Empty-handed), holding nothing in his hands; Shougun Jizou ŸŒR’n‘  (Victorious), shown clad in armour. Reflecting the great popularity of his cult among the general populace, stone images of Jizou are very common in Japan, and will often be seen even along the roadside. Because of his mission to save all sentient beings, there evolved the idea of six Jizou Roku Jizou ˜Z’n‘ , one responsible for each of the six realms of transmigratory existence (see *rokudou-e ˜Z“ΉŠG). The six realms constitute the life cycle of unenlightened mortals: they are Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Humanity and Heaven. Representations of these six Jizou are common. The denizens of hell were considered to be especially deserving of his help, and thus Jizou has come to be revered in particular as the saviour of those suffering therein. Both in China and Japan he is sometimes depicted in hell surrounded by the Ten Kings (or Judges) of Hell *juuou \‰€; such a depiction is called a picture of Jizou and the Ten Kings Jizou juuou-zu ’n‘ \‰€}. As a result of this compassionate association he was also assimilated into the Pure Land faith joudokyou ς“y‹³, and there evolved a version of the Amida triad *Amida sanzon ˆ’–ν‘ΙŽO‘Έ with *Amida ˆ’–ν‘Ι flanked by Jizou and Kannon, and an Amida pentad Amida gobutsu ˆ’–ν‘ΙŒά•§ consisting of Amida, Kannon, *Seishi ¨ŽŠ, Jizou and Ryuuju —΄Žχ (Sk:Nagarjuna). Jizou is also regarded as the protector of children, in which role he is known as Kosodate Jizou Žqˆη’n‘  (child-raising) and may be represented cradling a child, and he figures among the so-called Thirteen Buddhas *juusanbutsu \ŽO•§, presiding over the memorial service held on the 35th day after a person's death. In Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou –§‹³, Jizou appears in the matrix mandala *Taizoukai mandara ‘Ω‘ ŠE™ΦδΆ—… as the central figure in the Jizouin ’n‘ ‰@ where he takes the form of a bodhisattva holding a solar disc in his right hand and a lotus surmounted with a banner in his left hand. In the Diamond World mandala * Kongoukai mandara ‹ΰ„ŠE™ΦδΆ—… he is identified in Japan with Kongoudou ‹ΰ„›ο (Sk: Vajraketu) among the sixteen great bodhisattvas juuroku daibosatsu \˜Z‘ε•μŽF.
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(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System.@No reproduction or republication without written permission.
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