A DAOist God of Wealth and Prosperity.
LIU-HAI was a civil servant and alchemist in 10th Century China, but somehow became involved with a huge three-legged toad. It was his best friend, his magical pet, and would carry him anywhere he wished.
Sometimes the toad would hide in a well and have to be coaxed out with a shiny gold coin. This must have had some deep mystical significance, as LIU-HAI is now revered as a God of Prosperity. Images and carvings of him are everywhere, standing on his toad and juggling gold coins with a beaming grin.
A small statue of him (and his toad) in your house will bring the cash flooding in — and if you stick his image on your wallet you may well become a millionaire. (At least, that’s what the New Age stores claim, and they’ve certainly made a packet out of him.)
As well as doing conjuring tricks with coins, he is also the protector of needlemakers. This really needled us for a while, until we realized that traditional Chinese coins have holes in the middle — and thin string can be invisible from a distance. So we are neatly back to tricks with strings of coins.
That’s LIU-HAI neatly sewn up then. Apart from the toad.