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Bacchanalian Revelry of the Seven Lucky Gods

Accession Number
1985/2.20

Title
Bacchanalian Revelry of the Seven Lucky Gods

Artist(s)
Mori Kōga (Takamasa)

Object Creation Date
mid 19th century

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink and color on silk

Dimensions
42 in x 13 7/8 in (106.68 cm x 35.24 cm);2 3/8 in x 17 15/16 in x 2 1/2 in (6.03 cm x 45.56 cm x 6.35 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Helmut Stern

Subject matter

"The Seven Lucky Gods of Japan, Shichifukujin, are an eclectic group of deities from Japan, India, and China. Only one is native to Japan (Ebisu) and Japan’s indigenous Shinto tradition. Three are from the Hindu-Buddhist pantheon of India (Daikokuten, Bishamonten, and Benzaiten)and three from Chinese Taoist-Buddhist traditions (Hotei, Jurōjin, and Fukurokuju).

Each deity existed independently before Japan’s “artificial” creation of the group in the 17th century. Images of the seven appear with great frequency in modern Japan. The Shichifukujin are an excellent example of the way Hindu, Buddhist, and Shinto beliefs live side by side in Japan, influencing one another, and even lending each other gods. According to the Japanese legend, they travel in a ship called Takarabune which is filled with treasures and comes from sea to bring fortune and prosperity to everyone. It is said that if you leave a picture of the Shichifukujin below your pillow on the night of the last day of the year, you will be lucky and have good fortune the whole new year."

“The Seven Lucky Gods.” Traditional Kyoto, 2020, traditionalkyoto.com/culture/figures/the-seven-lucky-gods/.



Physical Description
Depicted are the Seven Lucky Gods. One is standing on one foot with his belly showing and a staff running along his sholders. Three others are crouching on the ground to the right of the standing god. The first is Ebisu in court robes with a rod in one hand and a fan in the other. The next god is in green robes and a tall hat. The last one, Hotei, is sitting on the ground pointing with his belly showing. Across from these three gods are three more, all laying on the ground. The first is in a green robe facing and holding a drink to the god on his right Benzaiten. She is in red robes but also half-naked. On her right is another god Fukurokuju in tan tobes with an elongated forehead. On the bottom right of the hanging scroll is a signature and two seals.
 

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Drinking
Figures
Fish
Japan
book
dances
dances (performance events)
drinking
fish (animals)
hanging scroll
hanging scrolls
males
men (male humans)
seated
seated figures
standing
women (female humans)

1 Related Resource

Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted