These Japanese Traffic Cones Are Spiritual And Beautiful

Traffic cones are roadside eyesores. But in Japan, there are spiritual ones, depicting the guardian of travelers and children.

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On Japanese roads, stone Jizo Bosatsu statues are ubiquitous. If you’ve taken a walk in the city or a hike in the countryside, you’ve come across a Jizo statue, often wearing hats or bibs.

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Few deities are more beloved in Japan than Jizo, a favorite of adults and children alike.

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Artist Fusao Hasegawa created the first Jizo traffic cone over ten years ago. Since then, there have been over a hundred of them created and are available in different colors.

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Considering how common Jizo statue statues are in Japan and their associations, adding the guardian to traffic cones makes perfect sense.

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“I want them used exactly as regular traffic cones,” Hasegawa told IT Media, adding, “I’m going to keep making them until they become a regular part of the typical Japanese landscape.”

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

I would hate to bump or run over one of those, so... I guess it works on that level, tho?