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C09P03 – Lost Children

C09P03 – Lost Children published on 14 Comments on C09P03 – Lost Children

The temple of the Rainbow Goddess is based in part on the temples I saw dedicated to Jizo during my trip to Japan. Below are some scans out of the photo albums I made once I returned (I took a ridiculous amount of photos on that trip…I think 10 rolls a week?)

20130730_Jizo1
20130730_Jizo2
20130730_Jizo3

My chicken-scratch hand-writing reads:
As stated before, Jizo acts as the guardian for dead children. Each small Jizo statue represents a dead child. These can include children who die early, infants that die at birth, miscarriages, and, recently, abortions. Often such statues will have red (the color of good fortune) knit caps on their heads and toys or food at their feet. These are essentially gifts to the child given by the mother, who after will pray for the child’s soul.

…Looking back, I’m not sure 16-year-old-me was completely accurate on that, but that summarizes what I was told by the people I was with.

14 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

He almost said Zhiro…almost. Couldn’t QUITE get over the prejudice could he. Hmmm…

Lovely pictures of the Temple and grounds. I don’t recall being exposed to that part of Japan’s culture…but I like the idea of it immensely.

To me it seems like he has subconsciously accepted Zhiro as his son, but consciously is always forced to remember that no, that is not “right”, not according to everything he was taught, every principle he is honor-bound to embody.

I think he would be a solidly decent human being if he wasn’t held back by a terrible society.

In addition to the temples, there are roadside shrines. It often takes a form similar to the statue in its own little alcove in the 4th photo. It’ll just be the lone statue, no explanations, and usually with a red cap or bib put on by someone. There’s almost always offerings laid out, no matter how out of the way the street or alley may seem.

Like every Buddhist-derived deity in Japan, he pulls multiple jobs. He’s also a protector of travelers and firefighters, and a general guardian of the dead. In Buddhism, dead babies go to “hell” (because they haven’t gotten good karma), so Jizo protects them from the other denizens until they reincarnate or become enlightened from hearing his mantras.

On the comic, I’m not sure it’s prejudice that stayed his lips. Looking over his shoulder like that, I wonder if he worries he’ll be overheard, which might well be trouble.

I do like the High Sage. I’m interested to see how this chapter will go, because I think he’s an intriguing character. It’s obvious he’s led a complicated life.

Hm, he still cares enough to pray for Zhiro indirectly. That’s something, at least?
Are you sure the abortion ones are only recent? Abortion goes back thousands of years. I’m not sure exactly how old, but there are documents of the early church condemning abortion. And the way it’s written makes it sound like it’s nothing new. Of course, I have no idea if it was practiced in Japan back then.
I’m sure those statues did/do a lot of good for healing for the families of the children who die young. I’ve heard that similar practices help heal women and men that are the parents of aborted children, specifically. One woman said naming her child really helped her to heal, this is very similar, I can’t imagine it would be any different for parents of miscarried babies and other small children. (Not naming the small children, but the statues.)

Abortion is not anything new to humanity, although prior to modern medicine the fatality rate in mothers was far higher.

I can’t speak about how the ancient Japanese viewed abortion morally — it’s never a good idea to assume all cultures have the same types of opinions when it comes to morality — so I can’t answer your question about what they did, or currently do. Just relaying what was told to me during my brief time there!

Well, yeah, all surguries had higher fatality rates back then. πŸ™‚ Of course, the media never reports that women are still dying from abortions. (And not in back alleys, either.)
I thought you might not have more info, it just shocked me a bit to see “recently.” πŸ™‚

or, as to Zhiro: does the Rainbow Goddess accept prayers only for blood-related children ?
As a would-be priest, he’d know this and catch himself in time before bungling the prayer and possibly angering her…

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