Not long after Buddhism was introduced into Japan in the 6th century, a cult devoted to the worship of the Miroku (the Future Buddha) developed. Painted and then carved images began to appear in the devotional halls of Buddhist temples. By the time this painting was executed by a professional painter specializing in religious imagery, Miroku had a strong following that embraced both popular folk legends and sutras (sacred texts) about him.
This scroll is composed of three pieces of silk sewn together. Above, three panels of text describe Miroku's powers. The mineral pigments used to paint the figure and the platform decoration are very fine and well preserved for such an old painting. The radiant gold paint describing Miroku's body is also noteworthy.
The scroll's mounting style and palette reflect the taste of the early 20th century, when a previous owner chose colorful textiles for its restoration and presentation. The use of cloisonn?? roller ends on a traditional Buddhist painting adds another special, personal touch to this attractive ensemble.