wonderfully expressive netsuke of Hotei is rendered with great charm. He is shown
smiling, with child crawling on his shoulder. The design of the netsuke is in
a triangular form, tactile and slightly worn due to its age. It has a beautifully
aged cream patina, which these photos failed to show.
Happy Buddha, he is lovingly called The Cloth Sack Buddha "Hotei" in Japanese.
Zen paintings often pictured the joyous Buddhist monk 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 made into a treasure bag, and Hotei is believed to dispense riches to
the poor and needy at will.