The bodhisattva Maitreya, depicted in Chinese and Japanese Buddhist temples as a jolly, rotund figure often surrounded by children, will be the next Buddha in this world. He currently presides over Tushita Heaven. In East Asia, Maitreya came to be seen as a genial “laughing Buddha” during the Sung dynasty (960-1278 CE) when a lovable, portly itinerant Chan monk was identified as an incarnation of the bodhisattva.