This image combines that of the Christian Mother Mary with the Buddhist Bodhisattva Kannon. The Madonna and Child icon was introduced by the Jesuits in the sixteenth century. East and West, the goddess of compassion is usually depicted as a divine beauty, but Sengai, like Hakuin, often portrayed her as a somewhat homely motherly figure. Regardless of her outward appearance, a mother is a goddess to her children, and her compassion is a model for us all.
World-renowned Sengai is the greatest zenga artist after Hakuin. Sengai's delightful works have been exhibited all over the globe thanks to the efforts of the Idemitsu Museum in Tokyo, which has over a thousand of his works in their collection. For details of Sengai's life and art see Sengai: The Zen of Ink and Paper by D. T. Suzuki (Shambhala Publications, 1999).