The Shinto and Buddhist Gods of Japan...


Share this page with other mortals!



Picture of the Japanese Good Luck God HOTEI from our Japanese mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Japanese Good Luck God

Also known as HOTEI-OSHO, HOTAI

Gift-giving God of Fortune

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.


Name : HOTEI
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : HOTEI-OSHO, HOTAI
Location : Japan
Gender : Male
Type : deity

In charge of : Good Luck
God of : Good Fortune

Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Good/Evil Rating : Unknown at present
Popularity index : 24967

Cite this article

Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below.


Article last updated on 03 October 2013 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

Permissions page

The Gods told us to do it. Go to top

Introduction to the Japanese section

Browse our entries on Japanese mythology

Search the Holy Database of All Known Gods

List of deity names from Japanese mythology