My name is Jon and I live in Los Angeles. I've visited Japan a lot so that's what this blog is about...visiting Japan, Japanese history and samurai movies.
I never understood where they got this image of Buddha.
He is based on a Chinese Ch'an monk Hotei who lived over 1000 years ago. Because of this monk's benevolent nature, he became known as an incarnation of the bodhisattva who will be Maitreya (the Future Buddha). His large protruding stomach and jolly smile have given him the common designation "Laughing Buddha."