"During the entire fifty years of Shakyamuni’s teaching, only in the last eight years did he preach the twenty- eight chapters of the Lotus Sutra. Again, of all these chapters, only in the eight chapters did he reveal and transfer the object of devotion to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth. During the two millennia of the Former and Middle Days of the Law, statues were made showing Mahakashyapa and Ananda flanking the Shakyamuni Buddha of Hinayana, and Manjushri and Universal Worthy flanking the Shakyamuni Buddha of the provisional Mahayana, the Nirvana Sutra, and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra.
Even though statues and paintings were made of these Shakyamuni Buddhas during the two millennia, no image or statue was made of the Buddha of the “Life Span” chapter. Only in the Latter Day of the Law will the representation of that Buddha appear." -- The True Object of Worship