Budai 布袋 (Biographical details)

Budai 布袋 (deity; monk/hermit/nun; Chinese; Male)

Also known as

Budai; Putai; Ho Shang; Hotei


A semi-legendary itinerant Buddhist monk of 10th century China, often seen in Chinese and Japanese painting. He is depicted as a fat, smiling, bald man with elongated earlobes and a vast spreading stomach. He wears loose robes and usually carries a sack and rosary beads. He is particularly associated with his 'cloth bag', into which he put all the things he found on his travels. Indeed, his name - Ch. Budai; Jap. Hotei - means 'cloth sack'. He is also thought to be an incarnation of Maitreya (Jap. Miroku), the Buddha of the Future. In Japan, he is one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune (Shichifukujin).