"Dog Family with Kishimojin" by Ozuma Kaname. The dog has long been taken as a symbol of easy childbirth, and here the litter of puppies (six in all) sit with their mother at the foot of Kishimojin.

“Kishi-Mujin’s themes are protection from evil, meditation, balance and banishing.  Her symbols are water and pine.  Kishi-mujin is a mother Goddess figure in Japan who wraps us in arms of warmth and safety, as welcoming as the spring sun. She is a compassionate lady whose goal is to bring life into balance by replacing sadness with joy; fear with comfort and darkness with light.

Omizutori is the annual, sacred Water-Drawing festival he final rite in observance of the two week-long Shuni-e ceremony. This ceremony is to cleanse the people of their sins as well as to usher in the spring of the New Year. Once the Omizutori is completed, the cherry blossoms have started blooming and spring has arrived.  Follow the Japanese custom, observe this day as a time of reflection: a time to meditate, recite sacred verses, and present offerings of water for blessing. Additionally, on this day, Buddhist monks shake sparks off a pine branch for people to catch. Each ash acts as a wars against evil influences. A safer alternative for banishing negativity or malintended energies is simply burning pine incense or washing your living space with a pine-scented cleaner.

To invoke Kishi-mujin’s presence in your life, find a small-needled pine twig and dip it in water. Sprinkle this water into your aura saying:

Away all negativity, Darkness flee!
Kishi-mujin’s light shines within me!’

Dry the twig and use it as incense for protection anytime you need it.

Finally, before going to bed tonight, honor Kishi-Mujin by stopping to meditate about your life for a few minutes. Are you keeping your spirituality and everyday duties in balance? Are your priorities in order? If not, think of creative, uplifting ways to restore the symmetry.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Painting of Kishimojin by Insho Domoto

The Japanese Buddhist patron Goddess of little children. Her name means ‘mother goddess of the demons’ and She was originally a monstrous demon from India (called Hariti). She abducted little children and devoured them, until the great Buddha converted Her by teaching Her a hard lesson. Gautama Buddha hid Her youngest son, Aiji. After searching desperately for him She went to ask Buddha for aid. Thus he berated Her saying, “you have 500 children, and you are so sad for just losing one child. How are the other mothers feeling who have lost their only child?” In response Hariti stopped killing humans and became a Bodhisattva, governing safe pregnancies and the parenting of children. She represents the Buddha’s appeal to compassion, and his devotion to the welfare of the weak. Kishimojin is portrayed as a mother suckling Her baby and often holding a pomegranate.  Due to Her post-conversion use of pomegranates to feed Her 500 children, (the symbol of love and feminine fertility), mothers who seek Her blessing will dedicate a pomegranate as an offering.

Hariti as the Bodhisattva receives Her great popularity in Japan where She is called the Kishimojin or Karitei-mo. [1] [2]


Lindemans, Micha F. Encyclopedia Mythica, “Kishimojin

Swenson, Brandi. PopAnime {Time of the Golden Witch}, “Hariti/Kishimojin“.

Suggested Links:

Exotic India Art, “Tara and the Cult of the Female in Buddhism” (scroll about 1/6 of the way down to section “Hariti and Yakshani Cult“.

Onmark Productions.com, Japanese Buddhist Statuary, “Kariteimo

Wikipedia, “Hariti