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.