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92 Items in this Learning Collection

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The Bodhisattva Jizô with a demon and children

Accession Number
1986/1.190

Title
The Bodhisattva Jizô with a demon and children

Artist(s)
Japanese

Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
18th century - 19th century

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink and color on silk

Dimensions
68 in. x 20 1/2 in. ( 172.7 cm x 52.1 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Susan Pratt Walton in honor of Catherine Mariotti Pratt and James Bisset

Subject matter
This image shows Jizō at Sai no Kawara, a Buddhist hell where children are reborn to punish them for the pain they caused their parents by their deaths. The children pile small stones to form minature pagodas as a devotional practice to ensure their rebirth in a better Buddhist afterlife, and to transfer karmic merit to their parents. However, a demon (oni) knocks these down, forcing the children to coninuously build and rebuild them. Jizō comforts and protects the children in Sai no Kawara, and they cling to his staff and hide inside his billowing robes. 

Physical Description
This painting depicts the bodhisattva Jizō standing by the bank of a river surrounded by children.  The majority of these are seated on the ground, creating small piles of rocks, but a few pull on the divinity’s robes. At a distance is a red demonic figure (oni) leaning on a staff with his arm outstretched over the water. 

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
figure painting

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Demons
Figures
infant
standing

2 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Monsters
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved