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Shusei-in - Tokyo Tourist Guide

Shuusei-in

修性院

 

Shuusei-in

Tokyo, Arakawa-ku, Nishi Nippori 3-7-12

Tel.: 03-3823-0873


 

 

 

Hotei

 

Shuseiin Temple is just 1 minute away from the Seiunji Temple on the same road.

 

 

 

Return to Yanaka map
 

 

 

Hotei, Shusei-in, Yanaka, Taito, Tokyo

 

 

 

 

The Nichiren temple Shusei-in was founded in 1573 and about a century later moved to the present location. It has quite an impressive Hotei, housed in its own room in the basement of the modern temple building, where you also get your stamp.

 

Shusei-in, Yanaka, Tokyo

 

 

 

Outside the temple on the wall along the road you will find the pictures below depicting the character of Hotei. Click here to read more about Hotei.

 

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布袋

Hotei

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotei

 

            Budai , pronounced Hotei in Japanese, is a Chinese folkloric deity. His name means "Cloth Sack," and comes from the bag that he carries. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha.In English speaking countries, he is popularly known also as the Fat Buddha.

            

Budai is often depicted as having the appearance of a amply proportioned bald man wearing a robe and wearing or otherwise carrying prayer beads. He carries his few possessions in a cloth sack, being poor but content.

His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of contentment. His image graces many temples, restaurants, amulets, and businesses.

.         However, the "Fat Buddha" is not the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, and strictly speaking the statue is not an idol. Buddha means "one who has achieved a state of perfect enlightenment" and there are several people who have been given the title. Gautama lived from around B.C. 560 to B.C. 480, it was not until around 127 BC that statues actually depicting him became prevalent. Before that, and still today, statues of the Bodhi Tree and other objects associated with his life were common. Gautama is commonly thought to be tall, slender and masculine in appearance, although since no images of him from his lifetime exist this depiction of him is unverifiable and possibly idealized.

          According to Chinese tradition, Budai was an eccentric Chinese Zen (Chán) monk who lived during the Later Liang Dynasty (907–923 AD) of China. He was a native of Fenghua, and his Buddhist name was Qieci (literally "Promise this"). He was considered a man of good and loving character.

          Although primarily a folkloric figure, he has been incorporated into a number of Buddhist and Taoist folklore traditions.

        Budai in folklore is admired for his happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment. One belief popular in folklore maintains that rubbing his belly brings wealth, good luck, and prosperity.

          In Japan, Hotei persists in folklore as one of the Seven Lucky Gods (Shichi Fukujin) of Taoism.

          Some Buddhist traditions consider him a bodhisattva, usually Maitreya (the future Buddha).

         His identification with the Maitreya Bodhisattva is attributed to a Buddhist hymn he uttered before his death:

Maitreya, the true Maitreya

has billions of incarnations.

Often he is shown to people at the time;

other times they do not recognize him.

          The primary story that concerns Budai in Zen (Chán) is a short kōan. In it, Budai is said to travel giving candy to poor children, only asking a penny from Zen monks or lay practitioners he meets. One day a monk walks up to him and asks, "What is the meaning of Zen?" Budai drops his bag. "How does one realize Zen?" he continued. Budai then took up his bag and continued on his way.

          Statues of Budai form a central part of shrines in the I Kuan Tao. He is usually referred to by his Sanskrit name, Maitreya, and is taken to represent many important teachings and messages, including contentment, generosity, wisdom and open kindheartedness. He is predicted to succeed Gautama Buddha, as the next Buddha. He helps people realize the essence within, which connects with all beings. and he fosters the realization of tolerance, generosity and contentment; thus, he helps to bring heaven to earth.

 

 

 

Find a temple of Hotei:

Shusei-in in Yanaka

 

Other temples and their deities in Yanaka:

TempleDeity
Tokaku-jiFukurokuju
Seiun-jiEbisu
Shusei-inHotei
Tennou-jiBishamonten
Choan-jiJuroujin
Gokoku-inDaikokuten
BentendoBenzaiten

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