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Vintage Japanese Showa Era Bronze Statue Hotei

Vintage Japanese Showa Era Bronze Statue Hotei

Regular price $425.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $425.00 USD
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Hotei 布袋 in in cast bronze and depicted in his usual jovial state of happiness and contentment. This Japanese statue is from the mid 1900's.

We found this at our favorite antique dealer's shop not far from Nikko, Japan. It has been well cared for over the past half century. As such it is in remarkably good condition.

Height = 15”

Width = 8”

Depth = 7”

Weight = 20 pounds

Hotei, one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese folklore, is often identified with the god of contentment and happiness. Characterized by his cheerful, smiling visage and large, protruding belly, Hotei is depicted as a wandering, benevolent monk who carries a large cloth sack (from which he gets his name, often translated as "cloth bag"). This sack is filled with endless treasures, candies for children, food, and is said to hold the fortunes of those who believe in him. He is often seen surrounded by children, to whom he gives gifts, symbolizing generosity and good fortune.

Hotei's origins trace back to Chinese folklore, where he is thought to be a representation of Budai, a Chinese Chan (Zen) monk who lived during the Liang Dynasty (502–557) and later became a folkloric figure. The depiction of Hotei as a fat, laughing monk has made him synonymous with the "Laughing Buddha" in the West. In Japan, he was absorbed into the Shichifukujin from the 17th century during the Edo period, where his image proliferated as a symbol of abundance, good health, and a contented life.

Hotei is beloved not only for his jovial nature but also for his embodiment of the Zen principle that suggests enlightenment can be achieved through an understanding of the mundane and everyday satisfaction. His presence in art and decor is ubiquitous across Japan, often found in temples, restaurants, and homes, serving as a reminder of joy, generosity, and the virtues of a carefree approach to life.

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