Osorezan in Aomori Prefecture is a land of death with subtle beauty. Lost souls are said to be in limbo here and only the gracious efforts of Jizo can save them. Jizo is the Buddhist deity of travelers, lost souls, and, most notably, children. People come to pray at the Jizo statues dotted around the barren gray landscape. Some visitors write messages to or names of deceased loved ones to place at the base of the largest statue. More common are offerings of pinwheels and children toys at one of the many smaller statues.
The Jizo statues are all unique in appearance. They lend a compassionate ear towards anyone in need, and ask nothing in return. Without their peaceful and spiritual presence, Osorezan would not be as a powerful experience.
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Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is a long-term resident and promoter in the Tohoku region. He has been a content producer for JapanTravel.com since 2012 and was the Miyagi Prefecture Regional Partner 2013-2015. Justin’s over 300 published travel and culture articles come from a background of studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and promoting sake overseas for the government of Fukushima. Justin now does tourism promotion in Sendai, the gyutan capital of the world.