Born in 1924 to kimono merchants, Kazuo Shiraga was trained in both nihonga (traditional Japanese painting) and yoga (western-style painting). In the absence of a commercial art market, post-war Japan had become a fertile breeding ground for avant-garde collectives, in which artists were fueled by a drive to create art for a new democratic Japan. Shiraga formed Zero-kai (Zero Society) with Kanayama Akira and Murakami Saburo in 1952. Continually introducing new techniques into his oeuvre, Shiraga progressed from his earlier abstract monochrome finger paintings to painting with his feet, hanging from a rope suspended from the ceiling and spreading piles of paint laid out on the canvas. Early on in his practice, Shiraga had identified the concept of shishitsu (one's nature, innate characteristics and abilities). It is the development of this concept of shishitsu that preoccupied him throughout his artistic career, as a member of the seminal group Gutai Bijutsu Kyokai (Gutai Art Association), as well as guided him in his personal life.
Between the years of 1971 and 1978, Shiraga produced works dealing with the subject of Esoteric Buddhism. This particular work was produced several years after Shiraga became a monk in 1971 at Enrayaku-ji on Mt. Hiei. In Esoteric Buddhism, the circle is a fundamental form of contemplation and an important symbol of Dainichi Nyorai (Vairocana), or the celestial Buddha. During the 1970s, Shiraga was preoccupied with painting with a wooden stick or plate to create wave patterns and semicircles, which eventually took over the place of foot painting. Ultimately, the works created during this fertile and important period of Shiraga's life are contemplations on anatman (the concept of non-self), the mysteries of the universe and a spiritual transcendence through his working methods.