Miroku is the Japanese name of Maitreya, the successor to the historical Buddhas Shakyamuni. When mappō has brought the current era to a close, Miroku is supposed to descend from the Tushita Heaven (Jap. Tossotsuten) to usher in a new age of the dharma.

  As with the images of Kannon, over the ages, Miroku came to be depicted more androgynously.

Buddha of the future