Many people in the West commonly confuse this jolly, laughing fellow with the Buddha, often calling him The Fat Buddha. I know I did when I was young. Those who are a little more familiar with Buddhism call him The laughing Buddha. His name is Budai, or Hotei in Japanese, and he was a Chinese zen monk around 900 AD. Some schools considered him an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha.
Tag Archives | atami-shi
December 13, 2010
Oh… what to say about this…? I’m tempted to just say look at it and come to your own conclusions, but I suppose a little background info is in order. For starters, this is from Atami, a tourist town in Shizuoka that is famous for it’s hot springs. It’s a pleasant town and very easy to get to as it lies right on the Tokaido Shinkansen (bullet train) line. At one time it was one of the more popular vacation places in Japan, but times have been rough and it’s not quite as popular these days as it once was.
So the statue. It’s depicting a scene from a well known book – Konjiki Yashi, or Gold Demon – by Koyo Ozaki, one of the most famous writers of the Meiji Era. Omiya, the girl, has just told her boyfriend, Kan-ichi, that she is leaving him for another boy, a bankers son who offered her a diamond. A bit upset by the news, Kan-ichi yells “You have been blinded by a diamond!” and kicks her. Ouch.
Other photos from Atami.