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

As the God of wisdom, happiness, wealth, longevity and prosperity, Fukurokuju is mostly depicted with a long white beard, unusually high forehead and holds a cane with a hebi or a scroll that is attached to it. As one celestial being in the pantheon of the Seven Lucky Gods, Fukurokuju is considered to be the God of the Southern Cross which represents virility, fertility, wisdom and longevity. The divine being is often represented in paintings in the company of turtle and crane, Taoist symbol of a long life. He is always apart of the Seven Lucky Gods and is never invoked as an individual God.

In sculptures, Fukurokuju is generally depicted with his bald head nearly three times the size of his body. Sometimes, the elongated head takes on phallic representations and is covered with a cap made of cloth. Most of the sculptures hide his hands within the large sleeves.

There are numerous tales about his origin in both China and Japan and according to the Chinese folklore Fukurokuju personifies the mythical Taoist monk who had the divine powers of the Southern Cross or South Pole Star. The book or scroll that he holds in his hand symbolically represents all the knowledge in the world and is sometimes also considered as divine scripture.

However, in both the cultures of Japan and China, Fukurokuju is considered highly auspicious and is often delineated in many different materials such as wood, ivory, precious gemstones and stone as a good luck and harbinger of wisdom and longevity.

Apart from being sculpted with a crane and a tortoise, he is often depicted with a bat and a stag. Often confused with Juroujin, another God amongst the Seven Lucky Gods, the difference is visible in the number of animals and the cup of wine that is synonymous with Juroujin.

The major confusion arises as both are portrayed with the same short body structure, high forehead and animals. However, only Juroujin is considered to be fond of sake not Fukurokuju. The lucky mascot that is known to bring in good luck, virility and wisdom, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, Fukurokuju is continuing the legends that make up the basic fiber of Japanese mythology.

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IvoryAndArt Resources

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.
Read all article about YEAR Of The Horse

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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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