Happy Buddha Hotei Maitreya Japanese Vintage Iron Statue 布袋佛
Vintage Japanese Iron Okimono
Happy Buddha 笑佛 Hotei
Treasure Sack Buddha 布袋佛
Inscribed signature not translated
Circa: Taisho, early 20th century
H 11 in. (28 cm), W 11 in. (28 cm), D 9 in. (23 cm)
Condition: Very Good!
The Happy Buddha, or Laughing Buddha 笑佛, whose Chinese name is Pu Tai 布袋, Sanskrit Maitreya 彌勒 (Future Buddha), and he is lovingly called "Hotei" The Cloth Sack Buddha in Japanese. Zen paintings often pictured the joyous Buddhist Master Hotei as an eccentric wanderer with an empty sack, a protector of children unconcerned with material wealth. Ironically, since Hotei is one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, his empty sack was later transformed into a treasure sack, and Hotei is believed to dispense riches to the poor and needy at will. This wonderfully realized okimono of Hotei whose corpulent presence promises abundance. Lacquered in red, the Buddha is shown carrying a curlicue walking stick, treasure sack dangling behind his back, and an intricate patterned fan in his left hand; with striking simplicity the Happy Buddha’s lacquered black robes hang in subtle folds; which opened to reveal a full and round belly, signifies the great expanse of vital power (Chi 氣), and an endearing gentle nature in a subtle smile. the Buddha’s countenance is both archetypal and engaging as he wanders the countryside dispensing good fortune.