Otagi Nenbutsu-ji (愛宕念仏寺) was founded by Empress Shōtoku (称徳天皇) in the middle of the eighth century.
The rakan ('enlightened beings'), were the original disciples of the historical Buddha and possessors of supernatural power and the wisdom of Buddha. These statues, in keeping with rakan traditions, are generally humorous and kawaii. The sculptures were donated in 1981 in honor of the refurbishment of the temple. Most were carved by amateurs, taught by sculptor Kocho Nishimura.