One of the most popular bodhisattvas in Japanese Buddhism. Jizō is usually represented as a monk with a jewel in one hand and a staff in the other. Jizō's vow to aid and benefit all suffering beings has made him an object of popular veneration from the Heian period (794-1185) onward. He is particularly regarded as the savior of children. Jizō images are often placed on temple grounds and on roadsides, and they are often dressed in bibs by worshipers. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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