Thursday, March 16, 2023

Mizuko Jizo at Fumyozan Koyaji Temple.


Though the adjective "unique" is extremely over-used when connected to anything Japanese, in one case it is actually apt. Small Buddhist statues of a child-like figure clad in a red bib and cap are found everywhere.

The red bib and cacan actually be found on many different types of statues, but the most common is Jizo, the bodhisattva known for the protection of children.

However, in the case of one specific type of Jizo, the Mizuko Jizo, the bibs and caps can become far more individualized.

Mizuko literally means "water baby" and referred historically to children stillborn, miscarried, or dying while still a baby. Mizuko Jizo and related ceremonies became very widespread in the mid 20th century when abortion became very common

Mizuko Jizo has spread beyond the borders of Japan, and within Japan some temples, like Mizuko Temle Monjuin in Sasaguri, have been established specifically for the practice.

All these were seen at temple 61 of the Kyushu pilgrimage near Takeo Onsen in Saga.

The previous post in the series was Saga to Takeo Onsen.


  1. Everything you share about Japan is so fascinating. The people are fascinating. Thank you for this information!

  2. Claudia L ErringtonMarch 17, 2023 at 4:37 AM

    Everything you share about Japan is so interesting. The people are interesting!

  3. Yes, wonderful, but sad...