I chanced on this picture in a gallery on the Internet. I doubt the cute litle guy under the rock can be intended to represent Buddha, but I wonder what he does represent?
Click here to see him
Could be a Jizo sama? david
David - I've looked up 'Jizo Sama' & I guess that's probably right. It adds to the cuteness, eh?
It is a concrete doll sold at a cheap store with no significance. It represents a photographers attempt to be cute.
if some one try to make statue of of buddha, any material and any skill level , it is not important of reslt or the product. The will of makeing of buddha's statue is the most important. a craftman who is living tresure, 5 years old child, drunk or I make bubbha's statue without any skill of any kind, In eye of Buddha, it is still good as living national tresure can make ( statue) .
many buddhsim sutra begin with " nyoze ga mom" meaning of "how I have heard " not how it is written of how/ what god/Buddha said. how you heard and How you understand is very important than what you are told.
if some one made a statue of Buddha made with sand, clay, paper copper or gold and it may not look good as national tresure of buddha's statue in big temple, but it is good as any of status in eye of Buddha. ( according Hokke kyu / loutus sutra ).
useing stones in Jgarden is same concept. mike.
Cheap, concrete & of no significance eh? Oh dear.
But I have to confess, I still think it's cute. Or at any rate better than a garden gnome.
I had wondered if it was a Tanuki, or even one of these - Click to see it - I somehow doubt that this is a cheap concrete thing?
It looks mighty good to me .right place , right size, right material, who ever wanted to place O jizo sama in the place, it is perfact. mike.
I was reading one of internet buddhist site. my nick name of yama in this information , I am the king of 21 hell.
Now we must treat you with extra caution! That's an interesting site too. It led me to this one -
yes . I am king of 21 hell. my childhood friend called me yama, until recently I never knew it. yama is short of my last name. I am not for sure that should use this nick name or not . if you are intrested other web sites of buddhism , I will send it to you. mike
I thought yama was the japanese word for mountain. So if you dont what to me king of 21 hells you could be king the mountain. :D
Thanks. I am interested in other web sites about it & would be glad to look at them.
those web site keep you busy for a while.
Greg: I think meaning of yama in sanskrit is king of 21 hell. "yama" in Japanese is moutain. I don't want to be king of hell................................. mike
The statue looks like Jizo to me! Here's a similar Jizo who occupies a little nook in my back garden. He's a couple hundred years old and carved out of stone.
Here is a link that might be useful: Jizo
I think INKognito is right about that being a doll. It's too detailed to be Jizo, especially with the fully-formed head and neck.
Assuming that the caption to the picture is correct, the figurine (Jizo sama or doll or whatever it is) is in the grounds of the Toshogu Shrine. I've read that this Shrine is one of the most famous in Japan.
I wonder if this throws any more light on the status of the figurine?
Toshogu was built for memory of Tokugawa Ieyasu. when Tokugawa Ieyasu allow to build shrine , officialy He become shinto god. how ever his body was burried at Zojoji Temple
Tokyo/Ueno . zojoji is big jodo shu( pur land ) temple.
Tokugawa Ieyaru (1542~1616) was ruler of Japan . ..........mike
So, maybe someone put a doll in his garden to cheer him up? ;~)
Or, maybe it really is a whimsical Jizo. Now my curiosity is piqued.
Jizo is the protector of children, especially those who are abused, in danger, or have died (including those who have been aborted). One often sees row upon row of Jizo statues with red bibs on the grounds of shrines. Here's a website with some info.
Here is a link that might be useful: Info on Jizo
gardener: thank you nice link. here is the sutra for you
stick ojizo sam has is called Shakujo . when Ojizo sam walk he is giveing warning to incsets bug to not be step on by ojizo sam. discripion of ojizosama in the web ste you provide is a liitle different than book I have. but it is not matter. statue of Jizo are far more than any of buddhas statues in Japan.
my home temple has aslo has one for childrenwho killed during world war two. that ojizo sam has back pack on his back. next time I visit my temple I am going to take photos.......... mike
Here is a link that might be useful: sutra of jizo bosatsu.
To add a little about the O jizo sama, is described also being a god of mercy, patron of travellers, children and pregnant women. In addition to the shakujo (staff with metal rings), he is frequently see carrying a 'jewel'. Many people add their family name to the ojizosama to be personalized to their family. There is a mantra written in sanscrit (bonji) to evolke his powers. David
Hello everyone on Japanese Garden Forum. As usual Im long winded. Jizen found me today. Because I wanted it to or rather I was ready. But without this thread about a little statue I would have never known what I held in my hands this evening. Never had found a small Jizen like stone. And for this I have become willing to accept my life as not one to be ashamed of. Rather part of a larger picture.
This is a good place for me to be. I took some time off to collect myself. Stayed away from the computer. I cant put a finger on it but the blend of learning the complex styles of Japanese Gardening and my attaching my personal life to it has become so much fun. However this process takes a lot of energy from me. The writing part in particular. Its so slow. The emotions involved are unexpectedly overwhelming. Not having practiced the sharing of experience, personal thoughts and more to an open audience I was hit by a wall of exhaustion. The type of tiredness that is good for the mind. Yet I wish I was prepared and practiced in such forms of expressions in a public forum. Not being well practiced my emotions welled up too strongly leading to much rambling and sensitivity. Often on the childish or naive ways. I try to make my mind coalesce into comprehensible words. Words that can be seen as truths. Weather bad or good this is why I like Japanese Gardening. As a simple person who has made many un-virtuous mistakes, I find comfort in the Buddhist imagery incorporated in the garden design. Somehow IÂll find my self again and continue on a better path. See how all my mistakes are still threads that are woven into my life forever. Finding how to love the good with the bad.
This thread of a young boy Buddha statue has the ring of a thread woven within my souls tapestry. Sounds overused and corny to express it so but I cant put the idea into better words. If the individual threads of my mortal life could have sound and be plucked for the onlooker to hear, he or she could register all of those subconscious strands that make up the infinite complexities of the weavers looms. Understand that how I see a particular thread as ugly and undesirable as something that canot be removed. Yet maybe pulled a little tighter. A little looser. Giving off the right note-sound. Even if I do not acknowledge who is the weaver of my lifeÂs tapestry I wish to take responsibility for my own acts. Not to remove the unwanted threads consisting of mistakes from the successes. IÂve been told IÂm a stubborn person. Unwilling to accept change and responsibility. Rarely Thinking clearly and acting accordingly. An annoying problem I have.
This afternoon I could not wait to leave the customers home. When I finally decided to pack up and leave the day still held a few hours of sunlight. A half hours drive brought me to the place I have recently found as healing and loving. Closing the door to my truck I ran down the steep slope towards the small rock cliffs and river. Took of my shoes and folded my shirt. Tied my keys to the chords of my swim trunks. Looked around and found myself alone. Laid my belongings on a boulder on the rivers side and ran back up the steep slope to a cliff about 30Â high from the waters surface. Its become a ritual recently. The cliff is small yet the jump down is fun. Then after the plunge the short swim across to the rope swing. Taking a few jumps off the swing. When people are around its all the more fun. Gets competitive! Having all those younger kids trying to out do me. In the end the win because IÂm finding myself full of aches and pains the following morning. Not like when I was a teenager : ) But today I was alone.
Two families passed under me while I stood ready to jump the cliff. They were excited to see the action. So I obliged. I was already standing ready to jump before I noticed them. Canoes and kayaks can move awfully quite. The canoe and kayak held young kids with their parents. We said hello before I jumped. I waited for them to move upriver a little so as not to land on them. They were eager to see the jump so I had fun. After they made their way upriver another hundred yards to an island dividing the river. Beyond my view they quickly became and I enjoyed the solitude again. Drifting in the slow current after another plunge into the river I became anxious. I wanted to be a part of human activity. I envied the two families that passed by. I was alone. Even though enjoying the thrill of freefalling into the gorge never becomes boring! And after all it was the whole Idea about building a Japanese Garden that led me to discovering new places like this. So I threw back on my shoes and shirt and walked along the rivers shore up towards the island. Here the river becomes boulder strewn with minor little rapids. Unlike the steep sided deep narrow gorge I just left that so many other kids spend the summer jumping off into. Little cliffs yet one is about 50Â high. That one requires high tides. And some inconsideration. SomeoneÂs home is right on the precipice. Meaning you are literally jumping of an occupied home to jump off the cliff. IÂm to old to get away with that! Boy I wish I were a kid again. Somehow I havenÂt grown up
I knew more or less why and I crossed the river onto the islands shore. And started looking for arrowheads, suiseki stones or anything that a forager would randomly place as important. The people were on the other side of the island upstream hidden by dense trees. I found a little stone that looked like a rounded version of an asian Junk boat. I knew it was nothing really but held onto it. Sometimes holding onto an object while focusing at thousands of others helps guide the mind to the next figure of interest. The smooth surface of the little stone in hand struck me as the exact opposite of the next stone I glanced at. This one was also less than palm sized but lumpy. The river eroded all the softer stone leaving unfinished garnets protruding. I knew the ÂLeopard StoneÂ in china which is an outdoor suiseki was formed similarly. The mica schistÂs eroding leaving exposed garnets. At least thatÂs my interpretation of the small picture provided from a book. I held these two stones and felt good. Forgetting about the desire to have friends alongside me. Being alone. Nobody has ever really spent much time with me outdoors so sometimes I feel alone in the world. Almost guilty to be acting like a child playing in the sand , stones and dirt. But this is me. I like to discover. Small adventures. Foraging and playing.
Now my thoughts were on the next stone. I crushed it. Somehow I knew the 2" diameter little stone was like a gem inside. And it was! A translucent blue quartz so pretty I was really happy. I left the blue quartz shards on the boulder for someone else to find. Japanese Suiseki stones were my interest. Not rocks and minerals like a science project. Twenty minutes had passed since I started looking for rocks and now the two families were heading back to the boats. I had completely forgotten myself and was content at looking for more stones. But a father passed close by. He was last on the trial. Lingering behind. Not noticing me since the boulders hid our views and the noise of water buffered our ears. I ran downstream and reexamined the blue quartz shards. Picked the best one and introduced myself to the father. I explained I wanted him to have this stone for his son . Since IÂve spent time rock collecting this would be a good opportunity to share something otherwise lost again. He held it up in his hand and was to my surprise genuinely happy and really excited. His eyes and face was glowing and I was greeted with much gratitude by him telling me, "Thank you and the stone is so beautiful. Look at that color. My son will be happy." We quickly went our own ways. I went upstream a little confused. Not knowing what to think about my impulsive actions. So I gave thanks to the weaver of destiny and simply was happy to make someone smile. And in return I received that human contact. A random act but one experience on a path amidst the river island. Where the beginning and end of that short path has a natural boundary. Surrounded by water. A short path along the middle of the island. I walked alone to one end and the father walked alone back to his family. Boats ready to launch and flow back downstream. The families disappeared and I was alone again. Alone yet feeling I accomplished another footstep along the invisible path that leads ones way of life. The way that is chosen. Like the ancient footpaths and roads that lead to a place of meaning. Like the ancient Greek trials that lead to mountain side temples. Paths of goodwill and special meaning. Chodo. The Way of Tea. The mountain path and the hermitage atop the mountain. Simplicity yet full of meaning no less advanced as that of an urban setting.
I found a small Indian artifact on the same short trail the previous month. This place to me is becoming my friend. A way to define myself as a student of life. Now my thoughts were on finding that elusive almost impossible small stone with a hole naturally drilled into it creating a bowl. I know so little about Japanese Gardens. But my convictions to find each item for my Sensei and his teachers in the Japanese Cultural arts center is of the highest standards. Each garden item must not be bought or sold. The eventual assembly of the Garden for viewing will speak of devotion. A path of life that can be seen as a way to live. To become part of a group. Larger than any one individual. Knowing that to be patient will give the experiences of daily life an opportunity to test my devotion towards the collecting process of the garden materials. To become part of the land again. Having deep roots and continued traditions. Even if the Japanese Traditions and the local landcsape is an adopted one foreign from European roots, IÂll try to give the garden that quality of a long distant past. Something money cant buy. Like planting a mossy stone. Money cant buy time.
Now I spent the last hours of sunlight walking in the river. Knowing I will never find a stone bowl for my teacher at the Dojo. Hoping that my desire to build a garden for the "Way of Tea" will have the continued freedom of untold time to find the proper materials. So far its been almost four months. It may take a few years. I hope that I do not become disliked as an impractical person. A dreamer who has no touch of reality. I never expected finding the right materials to be so difficult. And I know so little about Bhuddism and all the other related Japanese topics of importance. I feel like an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand for too long.
So many boulders have holes drilled into them. But they are as large as a dump trucks or a golf cart. Each weighing thousands of pounds. Yet they give me the glimpse at how the river provides inspiration for artistic stone gardening. My mind was on the kid again I saw when looking down the cliff before jumping into the water earlier.Â. Would his father chuck the blue stone into the river? Did he feign the excitement? No he wouldnÂt. I was imagining the worst scenario. And that is when I became bothered with thinking such silly thoughts after the father was genuinely happy. But what really counted was I just wanted the kid finding amusement at a gem quality stone. It was like jumping off the cliff for his amusement was good but I knew I could do better. I wanted to share what I had found previous weeks in the river to the family but all the stones were stored away.Somehow I wanted to share the essence of the river. Make it more than just a playground but a stream of life. Exciting. Full of new interpretations using Asian influences. Whish in the long run are identical to Western Ideas. All those archetypical images that unite nations and cultures. They were obviously new to the river since they never seen people jump off and didnÂt know about the rope swing withch was there for years, as IÂve been told. But in reality IÂm not the type of guy to go introducing myself to strangers enjoying themselves. And using the garden web frees me from such inhibitions of sharing life.
Then I became really sad. I had the opportunity to have a child a couple of years and lost the privilege. That was the thread I was pulling at this evening. A thread that is now a part of my being. I was plucking at the painful experience of loosing an unborn life. Partly of my own decisions wrongly made if asked of my point of view. Almost everyone else saw it as a good thing givin the circumstances. I was looking for a way to retune the threads painful experience into a note of practicality and usefulness. Making a bad unforgivable occurrence in my life into a livable and bearable memory. Having a note that is more like the musical threads of a harps plucked chordÂs by a talented musician. What IÂm saying is this experience had a sour note I now hate to hear. And then the whole memory of having to make a decision of abortion based upon medical complications to the fetus. What doctors considered reasonable and justified. While a whole opposite story came from doctors at the same time saying there is no need. I was so confused and wanted the best for the women I loved. All my life I thought I was the most loving human and protector of all life. I was to be a father. But I somehow lost the privilege and my decisions led to this sour note in my life. Now IÂm just another person who has lost some glow. I can type and actually function today as myself again. Not letting emotions blur who I used to be before the abortion. I was so young and innocent. Dreamy and full of hopes. I cant begin to express my feelings of saying IÂm sorry. Because I Have to live with the decision for the rest of my life. I made the mistake of letting others guide me towards loosing something that almost cost me my sanity. What IÂm saying is nobody can tell you how you will cope after you make a decision during a crossroad in life. I learned and want to place this experience in stoneÂ".An individual who makes a decision will have to live with that for all of their life." Every day. Morning and night. My decision was based upon my weakness to stand up for my beliefs. I failed miserably and now am finding the healing process will always be a scar non the less. I will not cry anymore over this thread that has been woven into my life. The sound and color may be to my dislike but I am willing to continue learning again. As a humble more wiser student. Knowing that my acts today on the island towards giving a stone for the father for his child was for me. I wanted to initiate the first step on a path I almost lost sight of because of remorse and anger. Our traces will be washed away by the rivers currents. My footsteps along the river islands path will disappear. But I will have added one tiny strand to the tapestry of my life this day. A small thread that has initiated the goodness found in following a WAY. The Way of my life re-stitched. The path or road chosen on any given moment when choices have to be made can be slightly orientated towards the way of life and its continuation. Forgiving oneself is the hardest and longest path to initiate. I can never fully understand forgiveness. I donÂt expect to ever attain it. For like anything else in life nothing is perfect or complete. Perfection is of another life and time. IÂll just try and do my best to make up for this lifeÂs mistakes. In the end you have to live with yourself. Nobody can do this for you. Life seems so easy until I ask myself to be honest. Seems like finding the materials for a Japanese Garden for me has led to finding the path of truth. A way of life without leading the next person down the wrong path. Now IÂve found Compassion for the fellow man. Forgiveness. Yet with that comes responsibility. To let the whole truth be known. The body of truth. This is the undercurrent of all art forms. That is the truth I see in such a simple meaningless picture of a cheap Buddha statue that is almost one the line of whimsical.
I know I rambled again. Getting back to the river this eveningÂÂ..looking into the darkening waters of the river, I decided it was time to go home. A white object blurred by swift moving water caught my eyes. The stone bowl for the way of tea would be for another day. I looked at the willow tree next to me stubbornly clinging to a small group of stones in the middle of the river. Two months ago it was submerged by fifteen feet of spring flood waters. The roar of the river and its hydraulic power was scary to remember. Yet the willow was able to hold root. Its pink and red roots were exposed by the raging current. Boulders crashing down beneath the deep current dented the tree here and there. The woods were dark. The river Gorge was the only open accepting the unfiltered light. Just enough light that when I looked back down I barely could see the stone. It was like a moment of suspense! One more stone. I should just make my way back to the truck I was thinking. I didnÂt find the stone for the tea ceremony. I was a little bruised from jumping of the cliffs and quite honestly dinner seemed to be the motive to hustle home. But I bent down and picked up the stone.
Walking a few minutes with the stone in hand I finally turned it around to the white portion. A childÂs face much like a baby with two eyes and a mouth. The head was the main focal point. You can discern the cheeks and a small tuft of hair. I wasnÂt moved like that of Aware. That upwelling of emotion bringing tears of happiness. Rather I was dumbstruck! If you can understand the moment of turning away to go home. The moment when you decide to pick up one random stone when the infinite variety of patterns can always await to be discovered tomorrow. I mean I picked up a stone not desiring to find any rare or exceptional quality.
Immediately I remembered the little stone statue of this thread. And in closing to my long story it was only tonight that I read the threads entirety. I needed to find my own answers today. We make our own luck and find what we want to fit our needs accordingly. Today I barrowed a seemingly unimportant thread to help heal deep wounds. Wounds that I do not desire to ever heal perfectly. Unless I want to forget the mistakes I made and retrace my footsteps blindly. I am better for my mistakes. Maybe making me fall behind in finding a perfectly lived life. But I am accepting all experiences as truths not to be hidden. Open heart.
Maybe I can show a picture of the stone. I donÂt know how to. And it might seem like nothing to the viewer as I describe. Certainly not a truly special suiseki. But IÂd like to share a picture of how a Japanese Bhuddist iconic image from this thread (Jizen son) and the process of collecting a Japanese GardenÂs materials had become a way of life for me. Much like any religious way. Its also ironic that the last time I posted a lengthy follow up was about the definition of the native Indian meaning of papoose. And if anything this stone looks much like an infant in a basket.
I took the time to share this experience. Because I was ready. Willing and wanted to let a person know that with time and during the most mundane boring activities , a person can find meaning . Maybe not a perfect answer worth taking the risk to share the experience and how it unfolded. Finding old religious images and the stories that belong to them as relevant to another person. When least expected. To me it was learning the meaning of the statue O Jizo sama. The related items of travelers, Jozos jewel, children and my own personal experiences from today and a past event that found some harmony.
I most definitely will have to show a picture of the stone less one thinks IÂm a story teller or never picked up by accident an image of Jizen.
Hope I didnÂt waste forum space and apologize. This is fun for me so IÂm trying my best to find values in the gardening experience.
The study of Buddhism is only half the story Rick the other half is meditation you have already explored the smaller half.
I think you have captured to essence of life. That is, to experience it with vigor, whether good or bad. We all fall,and falling is the nature of life. The other part of life is getting up and continuing with life. You are quite capable and appear to be able to articulate your thoughts and feelings.
I was impressed that you were able to give the quartz to the man for his child without thought of receiving a benefit. Then having the unexpected reward of fullness of heart with the experience. Wonderful. Have you been able to reflext on the six wisdoms
The six Wisdoms are:
1. Fuse-Dana, Generosity of material goods, sharing the dharma, compassionate words is all intended to alleviate suffering and provide comfort to the community.
2. Jikai-Sila- People are asked not to do the following: 1) Killing for pleasure, 2) taking what is not given, 3) exploiting others for personal gratification. 4) Wasting other peoples time with words and 5) abuse of substances.
3. Nin Jyoku-Ksanti, Patience- is the concept of understanding that all situations have confounding variables. Finding out what is behind a situation or decision before jumping to conclusions or judgments. This allows for decisions with the understanding that one does not possess complete information and being able to correct a situation when more information comes available.
4. Giving complete effort is Shojin-Virya, it is said that it is worse to do something half-heartedly than not doing it at all.
5. Zen-Dhyana- Meditation- a method of quieting the mind, Ajikan, zazen, ikebana, chado, shodo, gardening, anything which leads one to having a realistic view of life and its problems and to develop methods of overcoming adversities.
6. Hannya-Prajna- Wisdom, understanding, accepting and practicing the 5 previous haramitas lead to the highest wisdom. It is the wisdom that acknowledges and humbly accepts ones lack of complete knowledge but strives to gain a wider base of information. That is not so say, one should be satisfied with lack of knowledge, but the lack of knowledge should ignite the flame of desire, to gain information, and spread the light of wisdom throughout the universe.
Thank you Yukio and INKognito.
your thought was nice gift to all of us. when you can have time. please write to us more...( I know you are busy this time ) .............m y
Wow, sorry for my late reply, but I think I can lay this discussion to rest on at least one aspect.
The statue is indeed a jizo, carved from stone (some sort of white stone--definately not concrete) and it was found by my wife in a nook in the garden beside one of the carparks at Toshogu Shrine at Nikko. It was certainly not placed there by me. But I was glad to find it. It was a nice touch to a good visit. Nikko is always lovely, but that time of year is the best.
It is very cute, and I have never seen the style of Jizo before. It was quite detailed and very small (being only about 4 or 5 inches tall.
I hope this helps. Sorry for my lack of attention previously. I'm back at my site now and hope to be posting some new pictures shortly. I have some nice ones from Kamakura to go up. :-)
Jizo is a bosatsu, so not quite a Buddha, but still a good guy...
I saw name of Namazu in Japanese Buddhism web site some where. he tanslate text of sutra into English. If he is same person he is going to give you big smile.
about Buddha and Bosatus:
Sakya muni was a human/a person untill he had enlightment . once he gained enlightment he become Buddha. one of his deciple "Sariputra" is aslo Buddha in many sutras. some time only discribed as sariputra . In heart sutra , he is just sariputra, but in the loutus sutra ,He is Sariputta / shari butsu= Budda
Shaka nyorai, Amida nyorai, Dainichi nyorai, Yakushi nyorai etc. what Boastsu menas ? what is differrence between Bosatus and Nyorai ?
Botasu are qualified to be Nyorai but not being Nyorai yet. all Bosatsu are allready enlighted. There for All Bosatsu are allso Buddha too.
you can be Buddha too after you gained enlightment, even better when we born, We are born with charcter of Buddha.
"Shujo issai busho ari "
I do not qualify to teach Buddhism at all, but that the way I understand and learned Buddhism myself.
I am given sutra of "Jizo Bosatue hongankyo" sutra of Jizo Bosatus and other sutras from Chinese Jodoshu Dojo this Monday. I am very greatfull to peoples who donate money to distribute sutras for free and Chinese business owner who provide space and give other suport for Jodo shu dojo for peoples.
Namazu san .
Thank you shareing your beautifull photos. we all enjoy your photo. if you are the person who is helping Buddhism web site. I also Thank you for that too. ...... mike
Great site, Scott. Thanks for sharing it.