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Ebisu | Bishamonten | Daikoku | Benzaiten | Fukurokuju | JUROJIN | Hotei

The most popular God of business, wealth and trade, Daikoku is usually paired with Ebisu and can often be seen on netsuke, masks and innumerable carvings. Originally, Daikoku was a fierce protector deity but from the 17th century onwards, he became the God of Farmers and Wealth. Usually he is seen standing on bales of rice, with a wide face and merrily smiling wearing a flat black hat, clad in traditional Japanese robes.

He is generally wearing a hood and has a huge sack of treasures and wealth slung over his shoulder. He is also seen holding a small magic mallet in his hand.

As a deity of providing food and deity of the kitchen, images of Daikoku can be found in some of the kitchens of ancient monasteries and in traditional homes. Daikoku traces his origins to Indian God, Lord Shiva, while he also resembles the mystical Shinto figure, popularly known as ‘Prince of Plenty’. The Lucky mallet is supposed to give anything that is desired while the Japanese mythology ascertains that coins fall out when it is struck. While others believe that the mallet has to be struck three times on the ground and then the wish is granted.

Daikoku is considered to be the father of Ebisu and often depicted with him. On most statues, there is a symbol of the Buddhist ‘wish granting jewel’ on the mallet that signifies the divine powers of Daikoku and the possibility of granting wealth and wishes to devotees. One of the seven symbols of royal power in Buddhism, the wish granting jewel also acts as a crystal ball and gives the holder the ability to foresee the future.

In Japan, people in most of the temples dedicated to Daikoku rub the shoulders and the head of the idol as they believe that will bring them good luck and fortune. There has been a tradition in Japan of rubbing the statues and then rub that part of the body to get divine healing. Considering that Daikoku statues were also rubbed, shows that people considered him a healer too.

As a sign of reverence, the image of Daikoku was printed on the first Japanese banknote which was designed by the artist, Edoardo Chiossone and shows deep impact of traditions in Japan.

There are many materials used to craft the statues of the Seven Lucky Gods, individual statues of Daikoku and some statues of Daikoku and Ebisu together. With traditional belief that hinges on keeping small and large statues at home and at the workplace, Daikoku is a popular choice for bringing good fortune and wealth.

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You can browse much more carved Mammoth Ivory Tusk artifacts at our Mammoth Ivory Figurines collection.


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Happy New Year - Year of the Horse 2014!

The Horse (seventh sign of the Chinese Zodiac) in Chinese Feng Shui symbolizes perseverance, strength, loyalty, victory, power, independent, strong spirited, speed and success. It is believed that placing the Horse figurines in your home or workplace will strengthen and enhance all the good traits and characteristics it represents in family members born in the year of Horse. It is no surprise that you can almost always find paintings and sculptures of horses in Chinese homes and businesses.
In Feng Shui, the horses are usually classified into Tribute Horse and Victory Horse.

The tribute horse brings fame, recognition and triumph over competitors, ensuring your talents and hard work are acknowledged and rewarded.
Victory horses are shown galloping, running upwards signifying upward mobility and promotion, steady and speedy climb to fame and success in career and life.
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Mammoth ivory, Elephant Ivory - real or fake?

There is always a fear that the ivory sculpture that you bought might turn out to be a fake, because as a layman you may not be able to differentiate between a clever replicas and real ivory. However, with experience in this field and handling nearly all types of ivory, it becomes easy to differentiate just by seeing it.

Even though pure ivory can be of various quality and types, the fake ivory is made from resins. The powder that is left after sawing/carving ivory or remnants from bone sculptures are not wasted but all added to resins, put into molds.

Mammoth ivory tusk

The sculptures are then cleaned and then dipped in dark hued stains that give them the brownish tinge. There is always a difference in weight between a resin ivory and real ivory as real ivory is very heavy...Read all article about your Mammoth Ivory fake or real?

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