(453) Hikisaki Jiozo (at Taisanji) [調べる]

(453) Hikisaki Jioo (Torn Jizo) 太山寺 (愛媛県 松山市)

  This stone statue is HIkisaki Jizo. Jizo is one of the most beloved of all Japanese divinities1). Jizo is portrayed2) as a monk-- shaven head, no adornments3), no royal attire4), nearly always dressed in the simple robe (kesa) of a monk. But this jizo is a little bit different from usual ones. It has rouged lips. Can you guess why? The rouged lips symbolize the women’s beauty. And Hikisaki Jizo means torn Jizo. There was a very sad story about a beautiful young woman.
  Long ago two men fell in love with the maid. The two men lived in separate places. One is a Sumo wrestler and the other is the strongest man in his district. The two men
argued over5) who should get the woman but they couldn’t decide. The woman was so warmhearted6) that she didn’t want to hurt one by choosing the other so she said, “Why don’t you each take one arm and pull?” The two men pulled her with all their strength from both sides. The poor woman was torn in two. And she passed away. The people of the villages felt sorry for her and also admired her gentle nature. They made a statue of Jizo to pray for the repose7) of her soul. They kindly put it on top of the
mountain pass from where she could see two places from the two men came. Now it stands beside a bottom of stairs to Sanmon of Taisanji.

(1) divinity: [d
ɪvínəṭi]可算名詞 (異教の).
(2) portray:
(3) adornments: [
(4) attire: [
(5) argued over:
(6) warmhearted:
(7) repose: [ripóuz]