Updated: Sep 3, 2018
This statue of Amida Looking Back, called Mikaeri no Amida in Japanese, is found in a temple called Eikando, or Zenrinji, in Kyoto. The wooden statue stands three to four feet high with its head turned to the left, looking back for stragglers. Legend states that back in the thirteenth century, during a religious procession, the monk Eikan was falling behind, so Amida turned back and urged him to hurry up and join the group. For me this figure symbolizes the compassion of Amida, who never abandons anyone and always shows concern, especially for the laggard, the lost, and the confused.
Words from Shin Buddhism Bits of Rubble Turn to Gold, by Taitetsu Unno.