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Where did the image of a fat Buddha originate?

I’m taking a class on Asian art and the class ended today and these types of Buddhas were never discussed, and I’m super curious because I never see anything but the fat Buddhas in Chinese restaurants or in trinket shops.

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Kia
Kia
9 years ago

The Laughing Buddha emerged from Chinese folktales of the 10th century. The original stories of the Laughing Buddha centered on a Ch’an monk named Ch’i-t’zu, or Qieci, from Fenghua, in what is now the province of Zhejiang. According to tradition, just before Ch’i-t’zu died he revealed himself to be an incarnation of Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya is named in the Tripitaka as the Buddha of a future age. Ch’i-t’zu’s last words: “Maitreya, true Maitreya Reborn innumerable times From time to time manifested among men The men of the age do not recognize him”. May all beings be happy and free from… Read more »

S C
S C
9 years ago

The little brass trinket on my bottle of rum says Hotei was the god of fortune tellers and bartenders. That is the one that got turned into a fat Buddha. The fat symbolizes prosperity. Nobody in business would want a skeleton-thin Buddha, the symbol of detachment from material things!

I personally believe that the Budda could have grown a large belly after fasting for a long time. He could have suffered from protein malnutrition, which causes bloating and swollen intestines.

Gary
Gary
9 years ago

You should contact the instructor of your class and ask about fat Buddhas. Don’t be so shy! I’d expect someone who teaches Asian art would know at least enough about this subject to point you towards the answer to your question.

One Man's Opinion
One Man's Opinion
9 years ago

Denny’s Grand Slam breakfasts! Only $4.99 for a limited time!

Wayf
Wayf
9 years ago

Budai – or Hotei – existed centuries after
Siddhartha Gautama.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai

Use your brain
Use your brain
9 years ago

fat, once, was related to prosperity

No Magpie Without Chance
No Magpie Without Chance
9 years ago

The “fat buddha” is actually Bodai (Hotein in Japan), who was a pre-Buddhist god of abundance adopted by the Buddhists as they moved into China.

Brayn [P~R]
Brayn [P~R]
9 years ago

That is a particular Buddhist monk who is often misidentified as the Buddha, though he is likely folkloric only (known as Budai)

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