Tsutsumi Tôrin III: The Seven Gods of Good Fortune (19th century)


A print from the Japanse artist Tsutsumi Tôrin III (1743-1830?). Depicted on this print are the so-called Shichifukujin ('Seven Lucky Gods' or 'Seven Gods of Fortune'). These seven (seven is a lucky number in Japan) are a mixture of historical and mythical characters and their origins can be traced to several Asian countries. Often they are depicted on a the Takarabune, a mythical treasure ship, which carries the seven gods during the first three days of the new year across the world, bringing happiness to everyone. Depicted from left to right:

Daikokuten - the god of wealth and happiness. He is wearing a hat and large bag full of treasures.

Ebisu - the god of seafarers, fisherman and a symbol of prosperity.. He carries a fishing rod and a fish.

Fukurokuju - Depicted as a a bald old man. He provides the three blessings of luck, wealth and longevity

Benzaiten - She is the goddess of art, eloquence, music and wisdom.

Hotei - the god of contentment and happiness. He is depicted as a large, smiling and bald man with a big bag,

Jurōjin - the god of wealth and longevity. He is portrayed as an old man with a fan and a cane.

Bishamonten - god of warriors and a protector against evil spirits (he is usually depicted at the north gate of a building). He is depicted wearing armor, a spear and a small pagoda.

Print from the 19th century.