Fukurokuju

Fukurokuju

In Japan, Fukurokuju (福禄寿) (from Japanese "fuku", "happiness"; "roku", "wealth"; and "ju", "longevity") is one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese mythology. It has been theorized that he is a Japanese assimilation of the Chinese Three Star Gods (either Fuk, Luk and Sau or Fu, Lu and Shou) embodied in one god. Most related in appearance to the Chinese star god Sau or Shou, he is the God of wisdom and longevity. According to some, before attaining divinity, he was a Chinese hermit of the Sung Dynasty and a reincarnation of the Taoist god Hsuan-Wu. It is said that during his human incarnation, he was a sennin; a philosopher who could exist without eating food.

He is sometimes confused with Juroujin, who by some accounts is Fukurokuju's grandson and by other accounts inhabits the same body as Fukurokuju.

Usually portrayed as being bald, with long whiskers, he is said to be an incarnation of the Southern Polestar. In many depictions, Fukurokuju has an abnormally high forehead. The sacred book tied to his staff either contains the lifespan of every person on earth or a magical scripture. He is accompanied by a crane and a turtle, which are considered to be symbols of longevity. He is also sometimes accompanied by a black deer (ancient legends say a deer turns black if it is over 2000 years old).

He is the only member of the Seven Lucky Gods credited with the ability to revive the dead.

ee also

* Three Star Gods

References

Ashkenazi, Michael. Handbook of Japanese Mythology.ABC-CLIO, 2003.


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