Japanese Bronze Statue of Hotei
Japanese cast bronze figure of Hotei, the god of happiness and prosperity. Hotei, with his characteristic large earlobes and belly, is a symbol of wisdom; dressed in a robe, his treasure bag suspended from a gnarled branch slung over his shoulder (the branch cast separately). Hotei originating in China as a historical Buddhist priest of the 10th century named Keishi who was called Putai no San (Mr. Linen Bag) because of the sack he carried. Statues such as these were commonly placed on a kamidana ("god shelf") in a kitchen as an auspicious figure.