ほていのカラコあそび (Hotei playing with karako)

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

Title:

ほていのカラコあそび (hotei no karako asobi)
Hotei playing with karako

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This work depicts Hotei, one of the Seven Lucky Gods from Chinese folklore. In the West, he is known as the Laughing Buddha and is often depicted as a cheerful fat bald man. Inside of the Hotei, is a smaller top in the shape of a karako (Chinese child doll). When you remove the Hotei figure, the base becomes a platform to spin the karako on, so it appears as if Hotei is playing with the doll.

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Hiroi Michiaki: This is Hotei (the god of luck) playing with a karako (Chinese doll). If you take this off, there’s a tiny karako top within, and this platform becomes an arena [to spin it in]. When you spin this part, it starts sumo wrestling, clanging about. And so it’s like Hotei is playing with the karako. It’s that sort of top.

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