Japan’s Army of Ghostly Jizo Statues

jizo5Photo: jason morley

Religion is very important to the people of Japan, and a good example of just how important can be found on the barren slopes of Chausudake Volcano, in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, where hundreds of small Jizo statues make up the eeriest spirit army I’ve ever seen.

jizo3Photo: jason morley

One of the favourite gods in Japanese culture, Jizo is seen as a
savior, working to ease the suffering of those suffering in hell, and who answers prayers for the health and success of the living. He is a friend to all, and Jizo statues are usually placed at crossroads, to help travelers pick the right way to go.

jizo4Photo: jason morley

He is extremely important to pregnant women and children and statues are often adorned with tiny children’s clothes or bibs. Parents whose children have died place toys and offerings beside the statues, asking for the protection of their child’s soul. Like the lucky cats that can be seen all over China, Jizo is a deity that the Japanese people like to keep on the good side of.

jizo1Photo: jason morley

jizo6Photo: jason morley

jizo7Photo: jason morley

The Jizo statues of Chausudake Volcano offer a sight unique to Japan. Jizo representations can be found in many places around the Land of the Rising Sun, but the dark volcanic rocks, from which the statues have been carved, and the barren surroundings create an eerie atmosphere that’s hard to forget. This should definitely be on your list of places to see around the world. It is an eye opener.

jizo8Photo: Jason Morley

I would like to thank Jason Morley most sincerely for his permission to use his pictures. Click here to see more of his photos

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