Enku was a Buddhist monk and sculptor in Japan during the Edo period. He spent a significant portion of his life wandering and is best known for carving Buddhist statues during his travels. His works are commonly referred to as "Enku Buddhas."
There is limited detailed information available about his life, and there are few records or writings by Enku himself or about him. It remains unclear why he started sculpting and how he acquired his skills. However, the statues he created spread throughout Japan during his lifetime and wanderings, and many of them still exist today.
The term "Enku Buddhas" specifically refers to the statues carved by Enku. His sculptures were created using wood and other available materials, including scraps. They are known for their unique style and spiritual expression. Many of his works deviate significantly from the traditional style of Buddhist statues, particularly his later pieces, which feature extreme expressions and abstract shapes.
Like many of his other works, this particular statue was carved from a single block of wood using a one-stroke carving technique. Its design is simplified, exuding a rugged and wild charm. On the other hand, the facial expression of the Buddha carries a gentle smile, quietly standing. It offers a glimpse into Enku's prayers and his spiritual world.