Jizo Bodhisattva is one of the most beloved of all Japanese divinities. Ji- means earth and Zo means womb; so Jizo is often translated as Womb of the Earth, compassionately easing the lives of those who suffer.
A Bodhisattva is one who achieves enlightenment but postpones Buddhahood until all beings can be saved. Jizo embodies supreme spiritual optimism, compassion and universal salvation, all hallmarks of Mahayana Buddhism.
Appearing in different forms, Jizo is the guardian of children, living or unborn, stillborn, aborted, pilgrims, and those in Limbo. This deity is the only Bodhisattva portrayed as a monk – dressed in a simple robe with no adornments and a shaven head, carrying a wish-fulfilling jewel signifying the bestowal of blessings, the pacifying of desires and the bringing of a clear understanding of the dharma. The other hand holds a six-ring staff which when shaken awakes us from our delusions.