Mizuko kuyo or “the ritual of apology and remembrance” is a Japanese ceremony for those who have had a miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion or infant death. Some say it has roots in Buddhism, while others say no, it’s actually a modern construct with mysoginist intentions (meant to shame women publicly). Some argue further still that it’s a cash-cow for temples who charge $700 or more to “rent” a “Jizo” statue.
Why the red hats? According to Japanese folk belief, red is the color for “expelling demons and illness.
I think mizuko kuyo is beautiful and tragic and difficult – there just couldn’t be a right or wrong here, it’s far too complex – we humans have too many tales that break the mold. As I get older, it seems to me that we *all* break the mold somehow. I guess this makes me a postmodernist.
In any case, I’m truly fascinated by this practice and will read more in the coming days – if you’re interested too, follow the Wikipedia links for more information and links to scholarly resources.
Photos shared by Daniel J Ortiz Nevares, thanks Daniel!