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Hotei Netsuke Signed Shofu

Antique Japanese Carved Netsuke
Happy Buddha
Hotei with Fan
Netsuke Signature: Shofu. Circa: 1930S'
Recorded in Contemporary Netsuke by Miriam Kinsey
h. 2 in.(5cm.), w. 1.5 in.(4cm.), d. 1.5 in.(4cm.)
Condition: left toes restored. o.a. very good!

An irrepressible Happy Buddha, with a bulging sack on his back, his ponderous belly overhanging the tied sash, abundance enrobed in cloud patterned and star studded robe, carrying a mirror. The character of Hotei is descended from the Indian Maitreya interpreted through the Chinese personage of Mi-Lo-Fu, and the figure has gradually lost its religious significance and become merely the God of Luck. However, the appearance here of the mirror, the symbol of pristine wisdom, is a reminder of the spiritual roots of the Laughing Buddha. That being said, this Hotei is an emblem of childlike mischievous humor. The eyes are wrinkled with merriment, the mouth open in laughter. This impish god even displays the stubble of partial baldness, chest hairs and a five o’clock shadow stippled over his ivory chin.

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