I've had this little antique wood carved and lacquered Japanese statue of what appears to be a Zen master for a number of years, -it was given to me. I keep it on the shrine. I imagine I may have some karmic connection with this historic figure, but I have no idea who it is. There is text written on the back. I had a friend who is Japanese attempt a translation and this was her response:
as far as I can decode, it says 行菩院了心日定霧 the 2nd and last chinese character isn't contemporary( in japanese) so I'm guessing but I'm pretty sure this is what's written.
As for meaning, it could be a name of a high rank monk, or a one-line sentence. the 3rd letter is often used as 'temples' so 行菩院 could be the name of the temple.
individual meaning of the characters
了-finish/ completion /understanding
If this rings any bells and anyone can figure out any concrete information from this, I'd be ever grateful!
The characters are a posthumous Japanese Buddhist name for a lay follower:
It is the mortuary image of a lay devotee who has taken lay vows, or the eight precepts. He is wearing Japanese lay clothing (not monastic), but has the shaved head of a 入道 or lay precept holder. Probably late Edo period (19th c.)
Names of this type are not given to monks on mortuary tablets or images.