Hotei with Child and Sack of Riches


Edo period (1615-1868), About 1750

Hotei is a Buddhist folk character who supposedly lived in China during the early tenth century. He wandered from town to town, never stopping in one place for long. He loved children and always seemed to have something for them in his large bag of possessions. He was also a poet. In his death poem he revealed that he was a manifestation of Maitreya, the Future Buddha, and he is now worshipped in Japan as the God of Good Fortune.