Ivory okimono representing Hotei. He is accompanied by five children, two on his back and three at his feet amidst treasure bags.
Hotei is the most popular of the seven gods of good fortune. Japanese books describe him as an excessively fat man with a disproportionately large stomach and as a great friend of children. He often carries a bag that serves different purposes: sometimes he uses it to carry precious things, sometimes he hides in it completely to observe with a mischievous eye his surroundings. Hotei is always depicted dressed in Chinese clothes; his general type is established in Japanese art in an almost canonical way so that he is very easily recognizable.
Japan – Meiji Era (1868-1912)
Height: 3.1 in. (7.8 cm) – width : 1.2 in. (3.7 cm) – depth : 1.6 in. (4 cm)