Everywhere we went in Kansai we found, by the sides of roads or in temple gardens, small groups of stone statues, sometimes in mixed sizes, often dressed in bibs/aprons of red or white.
I learned that these are common depictions of one of the most loved Mahayana Buddhist divinities, a bodhisattva named Ksitigarbha, venerated in Japan as guardian of children and travelers.
Parents leave offerings of caps or bibs, flowers, and stones, with these statues called Jizō (or more respectfully, O-Jizō-san), often as pleas to reduce the suffering of their children alive or dead.
The Jizō are believed to be responsive to sincere prayers of faith, so maybe that explains these coins tossed for good fortune.
J is the letter at ABC Wednesday. Go check out the other creative offers this week... or better yet, join the fun!