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The image of the Laughing Buddha is based on a wandering Chinese monk, Budai (Hotei, in Japanese) who lived centuries ago and is believed to be Maitreya, or the Buddha to come. The plump figure and benign countenance suggest contentment, magnanimity and plenitude. Folklore has it that rubbing his potbelly brings good fortune and wealth.
Handmade by artisans working with natural materials: variations in shape, size and detail may be present, adding to the unique beauty of each piece.