This is a stone granite Buddha Jizo of Miroku Bosatsu. It measures 19.75" tall, 9.75"wide, 5.75" deep. Literally meaning a compassionate one (Maitreya in Sanskrit), Miroku is a Bodhisattva believed to be at present residing in heaven awaiting the time when he is to return to earth as the next or future Buddha.
The Miroku Nyorai is especially important to the Shingon School of esoteric Buddhism. Shingon sect believes that, far in the future, Miroku Bodhisattva, a Messianic successor to the Shaka Nyorai, will become a Buddha, and then appear on earth to save those unable to achieve enlightenment, thus bringing universal salvation to all sentient beings.
In the Early Heian period (794-894), the Miroku Nyorai replaced the Amida Nyorai as the "most popular Buddha". Even today, Shingon followers are awaiting Miroku's return, scheduled to occur 5.6 billion years after the death of the Historical Buddha.
The age of this piece is from the late Edo era (circa 1850 to 1860's) and it has lichen covering its surface.