He is 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.