Hotei Buddha

Hotei

Hotei

The Hotei Buddha , also known as Bu-Dai, is based on a Buddhist monk who supposedly lived during China ‘s Liang Dynasty (about 1,000 years ago).  He was such a kind and benevolent man that many people believed him to be an incarnation of Maitreya, the Future Buddha.

He is often seen carrying a sack, which is filled with precious items such as rice plants (for wealth), candy for children, and food. His fan is called an oogi, and is the type of item that Chinese aristocrats would wave to indicate that a request had been granted.  Beads in his hand or around the neck signify spirituality, and a beggar’s bowl a humble Buddhist nature.

Hotei is the patron of the weak, the poor, and children.  He is always traveling, taking away the sadness from all the people of the world.

Common folklore suggests that rubbing a Hotei’s belly can bring wealth or good luck.

In Japan , Hotei is one of the Seven Shinto Gods of Luck.

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