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In Japan, Fukurokuju (福禄寿) (From Japanese fuku, which means "happiness"; roku, which means "richness"; and ju, which means "long life") is one of the Seven Lucky Gods. He looks a lot like the Chinese star god Shou. Some people think that before becoming a god, he was a Chinese hermit and a reincarnation of a Taoist god.

Usually shown as being bald, with long whiskers, people say he is a living form of the Southern Polestar. In many pictures, Fukurokuju has a strangely high forehead. He stands with a crane and a turtle, which are symbols of long life. He is also sometimes with 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 with the ability to bring the dead back to life.

References[change | change source]

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

Japanese Mythology & Folklore

Mythic Texts and Folktales:
Kojiki | Nihon Shoki | Otogizōshi | Yotsuya Kaidan
Urashima Tarō | Kintarō | Momotarō | Tamamo-no-Mae
Izanami | Izanagi | Amaterasu
Susanoo | Ama-no-Uzume | Inari
List of divinities | Kami | Seven Lucky Gods
Legendary Creatures:
Oni | Kappa | Tengu | Tanuki | Fox | Yōkai | Dragon
Mythical and Sacred Places:
Mt. Hiei | Mt. Fuji | Izumo | Ryūgū-jō | Takamagahara | Yomi