Definition - What does Jizo mean?

While appearing in many forms, Jizo is a Japanese divinity is the guardian of children, specifically those who pass away prior to their parents. In modern day Japan, he plays a specific role in protecting the souls of miscarried, aborted, or stillborn babies. For some, Jizo statues play a role in the process of grieving the loss of pregnancy or child.

FertilitySmarts explains Jizo

According to Japanese mythology, babies who have passed on are not able to transition into the afterlife because they have not accumulated enough karma through performing good deeds and have caused suffering to their parents left behind.

Jizo statues are worshiped in the ritual of mizuko kuyō, because of his ability to sneak children into the afterlife under his robe and through the distraction of his chants. This is done to prevent the souls from the performing the penatence of stacking rocks by the riverbank in the underworld.

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