The Medicine Buddha, centered in this painting, has long been revered in Japan for his healing and protective powers. Once a bodhisattva—an enlightened individual who helps guide others to that understanding—this Buddha is often portrayed with a medicine jar in his hand. Flanked by two bodhisattvas, he is also surrounded by twelve attendants, each garbed in armor and expressively and animatedly depicted. Signifying the twelve vows that the Buddha made to heal the sick, the attendants serve as a reminder of his benevolence and miraculous powers. The Medicine Buddha was a central icon of worship in many Japanese temples.