They used to be in every part of town, and in the countryside of Japan, little stone men and women beside the road, to protect children and travelers. They are modeled in the image of a Buddhist saint that is said to have refused Buddahhood until all the rest of us sinners was able to get there, not wanting to leave us behind.
Yanaka still has some of its street Jizos to protect us. My question is, what happened to them in the other parts of town? And what happens to a town that throws away its jizos?