Jizobon Jizo Bon


Jizobon, Jizo Bon, Jizoo Bon 地蔵盆
Jizoo-e 地蔵会、Jizoo-sai 地蔵祭

On August 24, the monthly memorial day of Jizo Bosatsu, this festival for children is held in many parts of Japan, especially Western Japan. It was customary to have the Jizo-bon on both August 23 and 24 to coincide with the Jizo Bosatsu fairs; but a growing number of communities have recently changed the dates to the nearest Saturday and Sunday, or shortened the festival to one day.

© Librairie Seizan of KYOTO

There are many ways to celebrate this festival. In Kyoto, where more than 5000 Jizo statues are situated along the many roads, people erect small stalls or tents in front of the statues, where children sit and recite a long rosary with many large beads (juzu kuri), since Jizo is the protector deity of children. After the recital, they can play in the stalls and tents.
Red lanterns are hung with the insciption of "Hail to Jizo Bosatsu". Children eat food of red auspicious colors.

Some people paint the face of Jizo in colors (keshoo Jizo 化粧地蔵) and give him new red bibs or coats. kesyoujizou

juzu kuri, 数珠繰り(じゅずくり)・・・玉が大きくて長い数珠を子供達みんなで回す儀式.



. Keshoo Jizoo 化粧地蔵 Kesho Jizo Bosatsu with make-up .


Oki-Island in Lake Biwa 沖島
Oki no Shima, in the middle of Lake Biwa, has many special rites and festivals of olden times.

Jizo is believed to protect especially the boys until age 16, so every time a boy is born in a family, a stone just heavy enough to be carried around is placed in front of the home, carved roughly into a Jizo statue or painted as such and venerated every day.

On the day of the Jizo Bon festival, usually in August, the stone is washed carefully and then father carries it in the home, where he had prepared a special corner with bamboo poles and paper strip prayers. The first paper strip dates from the firstborn boy and new strips are hung every year.

For one day, the Jizo stone is venerated in the home, then carried back outside.

When the boy becomes 16, the last Jizo Bon is performed with the stone. The boy then has to pass another rite of passage to show his manhood in front of all and can now become a traditional fisherman, if he so chooses. This festival is performed in January and called Sagichoo. The boys who participate are called genpuku, coming of age. But in 2005, there have only been two boys left on the island to perform this festival.
They have to set fire to a large pile made of bamboo, while the other villagers try to distract them.

For lack of fish and lure of a better life, many villagers have left Oki no Shima and now live in the nearby town of Omi Hachiman, only returning for the various festivals of this island, where the parents and grandparents still make a small living.

Okinoshima is about 10 minutes by boat from Omi Hachiman, 3 or 4 kilometers from the shoreline of Lake Biwa. It is the largest island in the lake, followed by Chikubushima 竹生島. It lies flat in the lake and looks like Buddha sleeping in Nirvana, when seen from the fisherboats.
Of the population of 500 people, 200 are involved in the fishing industry.

Sagichoo Festival 左義長(さぎちょう)


More Photos from Okishima.


Celebrated at Izushicho, a town located in the Tajima district.

Jizo, guardian deities of children, can be seen on many of the town's street corners. The little statues, their faces decorated with face powder and lipstick, also are known as Kesho Jizo, or Makeup Jizo.

Every Aug. 23, during the Jizobon Buddhist service, the townspeople get up early in the morning and clean the faces of the Jizo and apply new makeup to them in a local tradition. In the evening, the residents gather and offer prayer to the Kesho Jizo. Children also offer prayers to their little guardians by visiting each in turn.

The residents of Izushicho have followed this age-old custom in the hope of keeping their castle town safe and peaceful.


Tsugaru Peninsula, Northern Japan 津軽化粧地蔵

Contests of the best painted Jizo are held in many communities.

Look at a great collection from Tsugaru !

Painted Jizo from Wakasa

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Keshoo Jizoo from Kooya-San 高野山の化粧地蔵
Not related to this festival.
Kesho Jizo from Koyasan
Read more about Jizo Bosatsu by Mark Schumacher.


.................................... HAIKU

observance kigo for early autumn

Jizoo bon 地蔵盆 (じぞうぼん) Jizo Bon Festival
Jizoo e 地蔵会(じぞうえ)
Jizoo mairi 地蔵参(じぞうまいり)、
地蔵祭(じぞうまつり)visiting a Jizo temple
rokujizoo mairi 六地蔵詣(ろくじぞうまいり)visiting six Jizo statues

jizoobata 地蔵幡(じぞうばた)flag for Jizo


Jizoo-E ya chikamichi o yuku matsurikyaku

Jizo Bon Ceremony -
some visitors take
a shortcut

Buson 蕪村
(Tr. Gabi Greve)


Jizoo Bon arashi no ato no kusa no koo ni

Jizo Bon Festival -
the smell of weeds
after the storm

Oono Rinka 大野林火


. Jizo Bosatsu (Kshitigarbha) 地蔵菩薩 .

. dondon yaki どんどん焼き(どんどんやき)  
sagichoo 左義長
and the 道祖神 Doosojin, the Wayside Gods

. Autumn Festivals - Saijiki .




Gabi Greve said...

kawakami ni gakekuzure ari jizoo bon

there is a landslide -
Jizo Bon Ritual

山本洋子 Yamamoto Yoko

. Jizoo Bon 地蔵盆 Jizo Bon Ritual .
August 24 - for the ancestors at O-Bon
more about landslides and legends


Gabi Greve said...

..... Hyogo 兵庫県
神戸市 Kobe

On the night of the 地蔵盆 Jizo Bon rituals
six or seven friends were standing outside talking, when suddenly a 天火 heavenly fire appeared.
It became all light and when they looked around they saw something like a piece of burning magnesium, which made a sound and climbed from the middle of the fields right up to heaven.
raijuu Raijū 雷獣 Raiju Thunder Beast Yokai

Gabi Greve said...

.. Shiga 滋賀県
蒲生町 Gamo town

A fox shape-shifted into 地蔵 Jizo Bosatsu and did not let people pass the road.
People thought this was the curse of a fox and held a memorial service for the fox at the local 稲荷神社 Inari Shrine during the 地蔵盆 Jizo Bon rituals for the ancestors.
They made a special statue of Jizo, now called
bake-Jizoo 化け地蔵 Bake-Jizo, the Monster-Jizo.
Fox and Jizo