The celestial Buddha named Hotei or Pu-Tai is best known as the jolly Laughing Buddha.
In China, he is known as the loving or friendly one. He is based on an eccentric Chinese Ch’an (Zen) monk who lived over 1,000 years and has become a significant part of Buddhist and Shinto culture.Because of this monk’s kind and generous nature, he came to be regarded as an incarnation of Bodhisttava who will be Maitreya (the future Buddha).His large protruding stomach and jolly smile have given him a common designation ‘Laughing. Some Buddhist traditions consider him a Buddha or a bodhisattva, often identifying him with Maitreya (the future Buddha) Fat Laughing Buddha statues have been believed to bring good fortune to the homes and businesses of those that display them. For few the statue of the fat laughing Buddha is simply a beautiful decorative piece.