Harahoge Jizō (Statue) (はらほけじぞう)

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The Harahoge Jizō are a group of guardian deities made of stone and placed in the sea at Yahataura, which is known as the hometown of Iki's ama (traditional female fishers who specialize in diving). Partially submerged at high tide, the jizō are surrounded by an air of melancholy as they silently gaze out to the ocean. These 6 guardian deities are said to save the faithful from suffering and worry and are believed to have been dedicated for the repose of the souls of the whales that the fishermen hunted, as well as of local ama who drowned.
Their name is derived from the word hogeru, which means “to get a hole” in the Iki dialect. 

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Address 811-5311 長崎県壱岐市芦辺町諸吉本村触1342番地
TEL 0920-48-1130(Iki City Tourism Division)
Parking Parking lot available
Access 10 minutes by car from Ashibe Port
Website Tripadvisor

It is also said that they save the faithful from suffering and worry in the 6 Buddhist realms of existence, which are the hells, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, demi-gods, and gods.
There are also various stories behind the reason for the cavities in the jizō, one being that they were made to keep offerings from flowing away with the waves when the statues are partially submerged at high tide.
The jizō were first placed in the sea, but later on, they were moved onto land, as some locals felt sorry for them being soaked in seawater all the time. But then the jizō came to the people in their dreams and told them that they longed for the ocean, which is how the statues were returned to where they are today.
Several times a year, this district conducts memorial services here, and prayers are offered for safety at sea and for successful fishing.


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