Jizo Bosatsu is a bodhisattva, a being who delays personal enlightenment to assist others. An attendant to the Amida Buddha, Jizo appears as a monk wearing monastic robes and with his head shaved. He holds the six-ringed staff of a mendicant and a sacred jewel, a symbol of spiritual wealth. A protector of travellers, samurai and fire fighters, Jizo is most widely worshipped as a guardian of mothers and children, particularly infants who are ill or have died.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label