Jizo is the Buddhist saint who is believed to protect children, travelers and firemen. I was told that each of these o-jizo statues represents a "water child" - a baby that was either still-born, miscarried or aborted. The grieving parents purchase little statues of Jizo-san from temples, to protect and care for their lost little ones in the afterworld. The statues at Kongorin-ji all bear colorful plastic windmills, and on August 9th a candle is lit at the feet of each statue.
Find out more about Kongorin-ji Temple.
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for 1 year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for 9 years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014.I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.