- Zen'en (Japanese, 1197–1258)
- Kamakura period, ca. 1221–26
- Wood, lacquer, cut gold, crystal, bronze
- H. 22 3/4 in. (57.8 cm)
- Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.202a–e
- Kasuga Shrine
The bodhisattva Kshitigarbha (Jizo Bosatsu in Japanese), one of the most popular deities of the Japanese pantheon, is usually portrayed as a monk carrying a staff and wish-granting jewel, as here. He is a compassionate being able to aid believers in myriad ways. Stone statues of Jizo stand at crossroads and near cemeteries throughout Japan, where they convey his role as a guardian of pilgrims and other travelers on the roadways of this life and beyond. Inscriptions found in the interior of this sculpture suggest that it belonged to a set of five sculptures representing a group of divinities associated with the powerful Kasuga Shrine and Kofukuji Temple complex.