MoboReader > Literature > The Romance of the Milky Way, and Other Studies & Stories

   Chapter 11 BAKé-JIZ

The Romance of the Milky Way, and Other Studies & Stories By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 966

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


The figure of the Bodhi-sattva Jiz?, the savior of children's ghosts, is one of the most beautiful and humane in Japanese Buddhism. Statues of this divinity may be seen in almost every village and by every roadside. But some statues of Jiz? are said to do uncanny things-such as to walk about at night in various disguises. A statue of this kind is called a Baké-Jizō56,-meaning a Jizō; that undergoes transformation. A conventional picture shows a little boy about to place the cust

omary child's-offering of rice-cakes before the stone image of Jizō,-not suspecting that the statue moves, and is slowly bending down towards him.

Nanigé naki

Ishi no Jizō no

Sugata sa?,

Yo wa osoroshiki

Mikagé to zo naki.

[Though the stone Jizō looks as if nothing were the matter with it, they say that at night it assumes an awful aspect (or, "Though this image appears to be a common stone Jizō, they say that at night it becomes an awful Jizō; of granite."57)]

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