Small antique porcelain statue of Fukusuke, Japan’s god of merchant prosperity. Fukusuke is one of the lesser known Japanese luck gods, though in the past he was sometimes associated with the famous Shichifukujin seven gods of luck (please read below to learn more). Like Maneki Neko beckoning luck cat statues Fukusuke figures are often spotted at the entrance to Japanese places of business. The god is normally depicted in formal kimono either kneeling or bowing to show his respect and appreciation of business patrons.
The old Fukusuke figure offered here is in good condition with no cracks though it does have a few small chips as well as marks and scratches from handling. The statue wears a darkened patina suggestive of age and past display. This statue dates from the mid Japanese Showa period (1926-1989) or before and was acquired in the historic city of Shizuoka, Japan near the foot of Mt. Fuji.
Height: 2.1 inches (5.5 centimeters)
Weight: 2.4 ounces (69 grams)
Note about buying Japanese Shinto antiques
Many Shinto items such as ofuda, omamori, hamaya and shimenawa are thought to have limited powers which diminish over time. Japanese people therefore commonly dispose of such items each year in special burning ceremonies called dondoyaki, which are presided over by Shinto priests and performed on the grounds of the shrine. However, many Shinto items are not burned and may find new life as cherished religious items, sometimes with foreigners practicing Shinto outside Japan. Many of the Japanese we have discussed this with (including a Shinto priest) have been pleased to learn that old items of their native faith are often well received by Shinto believers abroad. However, we are sensitive to the fact that some may prefer to see their old Shinto items burned and for this reason we do offer a free disposal service. Anyone who wishes to have their Shinto items properly destroyed in a dondoyaki ceremony may send the items to us which we will hold and take to our local Shinto shrine for sanctioned disposal. Please contact us in advance if you wish to use this complementary service and we will provide you with the appropriate mailing address.
More About Japan’s Seven Gods of Luck
In Japanese folklore the Shichifukujin are the seven gods of wealth, happiness and longevity. These famous gods (six male and one female) are frequently seen together in Japanese art, often in a boat sailing the seas of fortune. However, the individual gods actually hail from a variety of religious faiths including Buddhism and Taoism as well as Japan’s native religion of Shinto. The gods are:
- Ebisu – Ebisu is Japan’s god of fisherman and the morning sun. Ebisu is also sometimes regarded as the protector of small children, a role he shares with the Buddhist deity Jizo. Ebisu is also the only member of the Shichifukujin seven who is of Japanese origin.
- Daikokuten – Daikoku is the god of wealth, food and worldly success; and statues of this happy deity have for centuries been common fixtures of Japanese homes, particularly kitchens. Daikoku is also reputed to be Ebisu’s father.
- Fukurokujin – Originating in Chinese Taoism this god is the symbol of wealth, happiness and longevity and is usually seen carrying a long staff or cane.
- Hoteison – A plump Zen Buddhist monk from China, usually seen with a bag in one hand and a fan in the other.
- Jurojin – The Taoist god of long life. This god is also usually seen carrying a staff in his hand.
- Benzaiten – The only female of the bunch. This goddess is from India and is the patron of music and culture. She is usually seen carrying an old fashioned Japanese biwa (a type of lute).
- Bishamonten – The warrior of the bunch. This god is originally from India and is charged with protecting people and their treasure. Bishamonten is usually depicted wearing armor.
item code: R1S4-0004452
ship code: L1650