Japanese Mythology

The Shinto and Folk Gods of Japan...

HOTEI

Shinto Good Luck God

Also known as HOTEI-OSHO, HOTAI

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

Gift-giving God of Fortune

He is one of the lucky seven Shichi Fukujin. 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.

Hotei Facts and Figures

Name: Hotei
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: HOTEI-OSHO, HOTAI

Gender: Male
Type: God
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Good Luck
Area of expertise: Good Fortune

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 243

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 November 19, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

Permissions page