Gentle Jizo Bodhisattva is known as the Protector of Women and Children, who also helps beings into this world and out again.
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 parents grief for the child they lost. Yvonnne 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 this Jizo was carved from is Bentiwas which is a sustainable harvested wood and beautiful for carving. Please note, this Jizo statue shows the marks of the carver, so you can get a real feel for the process of creating him.
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I highly recommend a wonderful book Jizo Bodhisattva by Jan Chozen Bays.