Nichiren was a Buddhist monk who lived in Japan during the Kamakura period. He founded the Nichiren Sect, a Kamakura Buddhist sect that worships the Buddha and places a strong emphasis on the Lotus Sutra. Due to his religious activities in Kamakura, Nichiren was exiled to Sado Island by Tokimune Hojo Tokimune. He was later pardoned and passed away from a gastrointestinal illness. After his death, Nichiren was given the posthumous titles of Nichiren Daibosatsu by Emperor Go-Kogon in 1358 and Rissho Daishi by Emperor Taisho in 1922.
This statue is "眼入", meaning that it has glass eyes painted with pupils inserted. The insertion of transparent eyes into Buddhist statues is a uniquely Japanese technique. One remarkable point of this technique is that when you look at this statue, your eyes will still match the eyes of the Buddha from any angle. Many people believe that this helps you appreciate the connection you have with the Buddha.