Who is this fat guy? A Buddhist Monk that travels around with a cloth bag over his shoulder and gives out candy to children. Is it Santa Claus? In Japan he is known as Hotei.

He is an enlightened person that has gained a large belly, like the fat-bellied buddhas you may have seen in Chinese restaurants. 

Hotei (this is the Japanese form of the name) has been one of the favorite figures of East Asian popular religion for almost 1000 years; he is known everywhere and to everyone.  Entering Chinese Buddhist temples today,

Hotei’s biographies report that he lived in the first half of the tenth century.  He had no home; he lived as a wandering monk.  Most sources describe him with a round head and an obese, uncovered belly.  The name “Hotei” literally means “hemp-bag”, but was also slang for a glutton. 

Some sources state that he carried a…

View original post 497 more words