Kyoto, Japan

三千院 (京都府京都市左京区大原来迎院町)

Sanzen-in was established during the early Heian Period by Saicho. Its location was moved to the current one in 1871. The name, Sanzen-In, has been used since 1871. It was called, among many, Kajii-Gosho/梶井御所, etc. The vertical thrust of the tree in the background leads to the 3 “beings” sticking their heads out from the moss covered earth. One at the foreground appears to be contemplating, and the two in the middleground are in dialogue with each other. These are the statues of one of the most beloved bodhisattvas called Jizo. Jizo-bosatsu (bodhisattva) is best known in Japan as the guardian of children… especially of the children who had crossed the threshold before their parents. The Sanskrit name of Jizo is Ksitigarba, and ksiti means “earth”, and garba means “womb”. Therefore, Jizo bosatsu embodies the great nurturing and healing power of the earth, and this was one of William’s favorite places in Kyoto.