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Sculpture of Jizō Bosatsu

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Kamakura Era, late 13th/early 14th century JapanPainted wood and gold leaf with rock crystal and metalH 50 cm

Jizô, a Buddhist deity for the protection of children is a bodhisattva. Bodhisattva are those who are already enlightened and who support humans on their journey to enlightenment. Jizô is depicted as a monk carrying a jewel he uses for granting wishes in his left hand. Originally a rattle staff had been placed in his right hand. In Japanese folklore, Jizô embodies compassion and helps the needy, a belief held by many today. He also liberates the souls of the dead from hell, protects travellers and guards children against sickness and danger.