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Vimalakirti (known as Yuima Koji in Japanese) is said to have lived in India at the same time as Buddha. He is called a Koji (or “householder” in English Buddhist parlance) because in contrast with wandering ascetics, he lived in a house while practicing Buddhism. He was known for having such eloquence and deep understanding of Buddha's teachings that no one else could match him. In this painting, a long-bearded elderly man is depicted holding a scepter used while preaching Buddha's teachings. The round light behind him symbolizes the depth of his mercy and wisdom. Shibusawa Eiichi, a prominent industrialist who once owned this painting, probably saw in Vimalakirti a highly virtuous figure. When Shibusawa met the Indian poet Tagore, he thought the resemblance to Vimalakirti was uncanny.