Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bodhisattvas: Hotei

Hotei is known to many people as the Buddha, though in our tradition we recognize Hotei as an historic monk who became known as the Laughing Buddha, and not the same historic figure known as the Buddha.

The Beckoning Cat: Based on a Japanese Folktale
Like Jizo, Hotei is associated with children, though rather than protectiveness, he is known for generosity.  Playing up that theme, I made this fun for the kids, telling them Hotei is kind of the Buddhist version of Santa Clause.

I used the book The Beckoning Cat: Based on a Japanese Folktale. In this story, a boy helps a cat, and the cat helps a boy earn money for his family while his father is sick by luring customers back to the boy's house.

Here are some images of Hotei I shared with the kids.

For a craft activity, we made bracelets with wooden beads and some colorful Hotei charms I found on Ebay (seller churchcats in case they have them again). There often are Laughing Buddha pendants or charms on Ebay, though often listed as Buddhas.

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