The Laughing Buddha (also known as Hotei in Japan or Pu-Tai in China) is thought to be based on an actual wandering Chinese monk who lived at the time of the Liang Dynasty (907-923 AD).
He is usually shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname the Laughing Buddha. He is also called as the "Happy Man”
His large protruding stomach and jolly smile have given him a common designation ‘Laughing.
His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of contentment.
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.