|I have always had a soft spot for traditional Japanese woodblock prints. Check out this collection Chikanobu Woodblock Prints on BibliOdyssey. They are Ukiyo-e woodblock prints by (Toyohara) Yoshu Chikanobu, from the late 19th century.|
The figure crouching on a rock beneath a waterfall is Mongaku (1139-1203), who was born into the Watanabe military clan and initially named Endo Morito.
However, when he was in his late teens, he decided to become a Buddhist monk and changed his name to Mongaku. To test his spiritual sincerity and physical endurance, he travelled in the middle of winter to the Province of Ki where he planned to practice austerities by standing in the icy cold Nachi Waterfalls for 21 days while reciting 300,000 incantations to the deity Fudo Myoo.
After 4 days Mongaku collapsed and was carried downstream, where he was rescued and revived by one of the messengers of Fudo. Mongaku immediately went back to the falls, determined to complete all 21 days, but after just 3 days he again lost consciousness in the freezing waters. This time two divine boys, Kongara and Seitaku, seen in the print, helped him up and warmed the waters so that he could complete the three weeks of austerities. Thereafter Mongaku was thought to have special powers given by Fudo. Several years later he would befriend Minamoto Yoritomo and help the Genji rise to power.