22 Items in this Learning Collection

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The Bodhisattva Jizô with a demon and children

Accession Number

The Bodhisattva Jizô with a demon and children


Artist Nationality
Japanese (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
18th century - 19th century

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink and color on silk

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

Primary Object Type
figure painting

Collection Area

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2 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted