Heavenly beings and deities

The bodhisattva Kshitigarbha (Skt. ‘Womb of the Earth’, Chin. Dizang, Jap. Jizo) is said to have vowed to rescue all souls from hell. While he has been revered in China since the fifth century, he became particularly significant in Japan where he is considered the guardian of the dead – especially of stillborn babies and children. Unlike most bodhisattvas, who are portrayed in the robes and rich jewels of an Indian prince, representations of Kshitigarbha show him dressed as a monk.