Happy Buddhas, Laughing Buddhas; #6
Happy or Laughing Buddhas are very popular for Feng Shui. That's why we carry them. But we are going to let Wikipedia tell you who he is:
"Budai, Hotei or Pu-Tai (Chinese: 布袋; pinyin: Bùdài; Japanese: 布袋, romanized: Hotei; Vietnamese: Bố Đại) is a semi-historical monk as well as deity who was introduced into the Japanese Buddhist pantheon. He allegedly lived around the 10th century in the Wuyue kingdom [China]. His name literally means "Cloth Sack", and refers to the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying as he wanders aimlessly. His jolly nature, humorous personality, and eccentric lifestyle distinguishes him from most Buddhist masters or figures. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the "Laughing Buddha", Xiào Fó.
"The main textual evidence pointing to Budai resides in a collection of Zen Buddhist monks’ biographies known as the "Jingde Chuandeng Lu", also known as The Transmission of the Lamp. Budai has origins centered around cult worship and local legend. He is traditionally depicted as a fat, bald monk wearing a simple robe. He carries his few possessions in a cloth sack, being poor but content. He would excitingly entertain the adoring children that followed him and was known for patting his large belly happily. His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of both contentment and abundance.
"Budai attracted the townspeople around him as he was able to predict people’s fortunes and even weather patterns. The wandering monk was often inclined to sleep anywhere he came to, even outside, for his mystical powers could ward off the bitter colds of snow and his body was left unaffected. A recovered death note dated to 916 A.D., which the monk himself wrote, claims that he is an incarnation of the Maitreya, The Buddha of the Future."