Seven Lucky Gods
25th November 2009
Seven Lucky Gods, patrons of various groups, professions, art and skills.
This group of seven gods (variation here), who according to the legend bring good luck to people, are from nowadays point of view very racially and religiously various. Their origin stem from China, India and Japan, that's why they are connected with three religions - Buddhism, Taoism and Shinto. From the view of Christan it could be unimaginable situation, however in Asia this is really common harmonious coexistence.
In Japan the very first mention of these seven deities came from Muromachi period (1336-1467), when Japanese merchants started to believe in gods Daikoku and Ebisu, the gods of business.Then other classes of Japanese society began to look amongst the pantheon of gods to see if in among them there was not one,who was suitable from their own endeavours. Thus belief in these deities was gradually broadened.
Everyone from this group of seven gods has his/her typical features and character:
Benten / Benzaiten – the only one woman in the whole pantheon. She is the goddness music, the arts and eloquence. She is the patroness of all the performing arts, writers, musicians, geisha, sculptors, painters and, curiously enough, gamblers.
Can be recognised by:biwa.
Ebisu – the only native Japanese god in the whole pantheon. God of wealth, good fortune, fair dealing and candor. He is patron of sailors, merchants and foreigns.
Can be recognised by: fishing sack with fish inside.
Hotei – Hotei was a true person - he was priest. God of popularity, nobility, good fortune, guardian of children. He is patron of fortune-tellers, wits and bartendres.
Can be recognised by: well developed corporation, carries large bag over his shoulder.
Bishamon - god of dignity, defender against evil and illness. He is patron of doctors, missionaries, monks and soldiers.
Can be recognised by: looks like warrior (that's why he is sometimes mistakenly called god of war).
Daikoku – god of business and good harvest. Beyond he is patron of famers and merchants, he also chases demons.
Can be recognised by: distinct headgear, magic golden mallet holding in hand.
Fukurokuju / Fukurokujin – god of fortune, wealth and longevity. Patron of chess-players, producers of watches and sportsmen.
Can be recognised by: extremely short in statue, log head, snowy beard. He is usually accompanied by tortoise, stork, snake or white deer.
Jurojin – god of wisdom. Patron of teachers, scientists and mathematicians.
Can be recognised by: black deer.
Sources and other detials can be found here:
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