There are a lot of Jizo statues around Japan. They are particularly prominent around intersection of roads and paths.
The idea is that the ‘correct’ path should be chosen and Jizo is there to help you make your decision. The Jizo is seen as a protector of travellers.
They often wear red bibs like these ones.
The Jizo is a special statue for women that are pregnant. It is also considered an important symbol for those whose children have died. That is why sometimes the statues of Jizo wear tiny children’s clothing or bibs. It is also why jizo’s sometimes have toys or other gifts beside them.
Jizo are also considered helpful when children are suffering from a serious illness. It is thought that prayers to o-jizo- sama can help aid speedy recoveries.
I have particularly noticed the importance of the Jizo in Miyazaki’s anime as well. I love that scene where Mei is lost and she rests next to a line of Jizo statues.
Here they are in a line outside a shop dedicated to the anime art of Hayao Miyazaki.
Funny Jizo – really funny – now lets go and shop!
This is a little clip showing how to make a Jizo out of clay – easy!