Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Stoned Buddha

I love to walk around little neighborhood temples and there are several very near where I stay when visiting Otawara in Tochigi. One of the things I love about them are all the old statues around the temple grounds. Below are photos from the attached cemetery. I was very curious when I saw all the stones covering the statues. I believe these are Jizo statues because of the bibs they are wearing but I am not certain. If they are then technically they are not Buddha's but are bodhisattva's. If anyone knows the reason for the stones, let me know.

I love the stone on this little one's head.

This is my entry in this weeks Show Me Japan. Please click on the photo below to see more great Japan photos at Budget Trouble.


  1. Nice photos- Jizo statues are great- all of them unique and often in the image of monks from the temple who have died, so they are still able to be visited and remembered. We have a great temple in Hiroshima with so many interesting Jizo too- my photos are on flickr:
    and if you ever come to visit Hiroshima-
    the review of the temple is on Gethiroshima here:

    I have heard that the stones put on top of the statues and tori gates and other religious places are wishes and for good luck. You will often see little stones piled everywhere, it looks really cool and you can imagine all the wishes and hope that is trapped inside each pile.

  2. Very nice photos! They are most likely Jizo and the stones are placed there by the parents when they pray for the health of their children. Like the little figures that are left at other shrines.

    There is an interesting explanation here as to why stones can be built up in piles http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/sai-no-kawara.html#sainokawara

  3. Thank you both. Yes, I now do recall reading about the stones being related to prayers for children. Thank you for the links.

  4. Interesting! In my neighbourhood I see a few little statues like there. One I'm particularly curious about, has two figures of dogs dressed in red capes. I've never gotten around to asking anyone why the capes. Do you have any idea?

  5. I saw a shrine something like this over in Chichibu in Saitama once. Nice pics!

  6. Thank you. I am not certain what the capes mean. I will have to see if I can find out.

  7. Anonymous8:18 PM

    to expatriababy

    The pair fugurines are called Komainu. They are guardian of shrines/temples. Check wikipedia for more detail.

  8. There's a reason for those stones and it was explained to me once upon a time, but of course now I can't remember anymore. Stupid me.