Size: Approximately 9 1/2 inches tall. Material: The wood this Jizo was hand carved from crocodile wood, a beautiful close grained wood that is perfect for fine carving and develops even richer color with time. Gentle Jizo Bodhisattva is known as the Protector of Women and Children, who also helps beings into this world and out again. The wood in this statue is from an old tree and has an unusual variation in the color. And we chose to preserve the marks of the carving process and did not sand them out. This gives a sense of the presence of the carver as he created this Jizo. He is a man who many in his village would like him to be a priest and he prefers to carve these images.
Jizos are a part of a ceremony called the Mizuko Kuyo Ceremony, in Japan and other countries, for a child who has died before or within a year of birth. It provides a ritual form for the parent's grief for the child they lost. Yvonne Jikai Rand developed the ceremony in America. Part of the ceremony involves sewing a little red bib or hat or to make something for the little statue and in Japan, you see many little Jizo statues in stone and wood with little red bibs and hats. Jizo is said to go to the 6 realms to help beings in distress. The 6 rings on his staff symbolize these 6 Realms of Existence: gods, (temporary pleasure), hell (pain and suffering), animal (ignorance) hungry ghost (desire), human (the rare opportunity to practice), and asuras (jealousy and fighting). The rings jingle warning small animals to move so they are not hurt. The wood in this Jizo has small flecks of dark color. They are almost like tears of compassion.
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