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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 pot belly brings good fortune and wealth. The Buddha statue measures 6 inches high and 4 inches wide. Hand-finished, minor variations and imperfections add to the artistic character of the statue.