Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

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Figure of the bodhisattva Jizō

  • Description

    The Buddhist figure Jizō is a special protector of children, travellers and women. Jizō is an example of a bodhisattva – enlightened beings who devote their lives to freeing others from suffering. Bodhisattvas are not worshipped, but inspire others to reach enlightenment.

    Jizō is usually shown as a monk with a shaven head and pilgrim’s robes, carrying a staff with metal rings that jingle to warn insects of his approach. Jizō also carries the bright jewel of Buddhist truth, a symbol of the endless power of Buddhism. He has a third eye on his forehead and elongated ears, both symbols of enlightenment.

  • Details

    Associated place
    Asia Japan (place of creation)
    16th century (1501 - 1600)
    Material and technique
    wood, with carved decoration, and traces of lacquer and gilding
    160 x 65 x 75 cm max. (height x width x depth)
    Material index
    organicvegetal wood,
    organicvegetalresin lacquer,
    Technique index
    formed carved,
    Object type index
    No. of items
    Credit line
    Presented by M. Georges van Houten, in memory of his wife Anne Suzanne, 1961.
    Accession no.



  • lacquer

    Chinese and Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the lacquer tree, which is indigenous to Eastern China. It is applied to wood as a varnish or for decorative effect. In India and the Middle East, lacquer is made from the deposit of the lac insect.


    • Second floor | Room 36 | Japan

Objects are sometimes moved to a different location. Our object location data is usually updated on a monthly basis. Contact the Jameel Study Centre if you are planning to visit the museum to see a particular object on display, or would like to arrange an appointment to see an object in our reserve collections.


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