Photos of Jizō: some seen, some unseen

I’ve just uploaded a new short sequence of photographs of Jizō Bosatsu from the Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan.  This is a new sequence of some older work.


Each photograph in this short series contains solace and heartbreak.  These small stone statues of the Buddhist god Jizō Bosatsu can be found along roadsides throughout Japan, but they are particularly concentrated along the Shikoku 88-temple pilgrimage trail.  Jizō Bosatsu is the deity of travelers, pregnant women, and children.  Parents give offerings and tie baby-bibs on the statues in supplication for miscarried and aborted fetuses as well as in thanks for the protection of the living.  On the pilgrimage trail, the Jizō define a landscape of faith but also one of death.  Shot on film using a Mamiya VII camera, these photographs are studies in luminous detail that magnify the beauty, humor, and grief of life in its inseparable relationship to death.