Godchecker's mythology encyclopedia

Also known as HOTEI-OSHO, HOTAI

A picture showing the legend of HOTEI taken from our Japanese mythology archives. Illustration by Chas Saunders. Read the story below or search the index for more Japanese Gods, Japanese Goddesses, heroes, demons and monsters!

A Japanese God of Good Fortune, he's one of the lucky seven [SHICHI-FUKU-JIN].

The other six Gods are equally lucky, but HOTEI seems to have the sunniest disposition. He's known — somewhat erroneously — as the Laughing Buddha, and certainly seems to have a lot to smile about.

His name means 'Cloth Bag' and he is never seen without his bulging cotton sack, stuffed full of goodies like an oriental Santa Claus.

Disclaimer: The goodies in his bag symbolize the good things in life. They may include champagne, cash, gold bricks and caviar, but your mileage may vary.

According to those who know, HOTEI loves having his tummy rubbed. How can you possibly resist? Especially since a quick belly massage may result in a shower of Godly goodies from a grateful good luck God.

Why not nip into your nearest spiritually-minded New Age store and purchase yourself a HOTEI figure, complete with exposed belly? Batteries not included.

  • Share this page:

Article last updated on 27 November 2006
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

Please mention Godchecker.com when praying to deities.

Godchecker's article on Hotei is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Name : HOTEI
Location : Japan
Gender : Male
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : HOTEI-OSHO, HOTAI
Popularity index : 1578

Join the Godchecker mailing list

Stay in the loop with Godchecker updates. You can unsubscribe at any time.
We are often asked about merchandise. Can we supply the latest Hotei graphic novel, book or comic? Not to mention role-playing games (RPG), video games, Hotei movies on DVD, BluRay and so on. To purchase such goodies we suggest you search for a dedicated mythology-based online store - or try Amazon, Ebay or other reputable websites. We offer a wide range of our own merchandise in our online GodShop, but we don't currently sell third party items. Yet!

Visitors often email us asking about Hotei statues, sculptures or carved figurines of Hotei. We regret we cannot assist with identifying such items.

PRESS or MEDIA enquiries? Contact us here.

REPRODUCTION REQUESTS. This site is copyright and all rights are reserved. If you wish to use our material in your essay, book, article or project, please consult our permissions information page.

SUPPORT THE GODS. Found this site useful? Consider donating a few pennies to the Godchecker Temple Roof Fund.

The Gods told us to do it.
The Complete List of JAPANESE GODS...

Can't find the Japanese God you want? Try searching our Holy Database...