Budai / Hotei / Magot / Pagod :
Budai (Hotei in Japanese) is a Chinese deity. His name means `Cloth Sack`, and comes from the bag that he carries. According to Chinese tradition, Budai was an eccentric Chinese Zen monk who lived during the 10th Century. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha. In English speaking countries, he is popularly known also as the `Fat Buddha`. In China Porcelain figures such as the present example would have been used in a family shrine while offering prayers, but in the West they would be seen as exotic curiosities, sometimes referred to as Magot or Pagod. The term Magot was used from as early as the mid 17th century to describe the European heavy set or bizarre representations in clay, plaster, copper or porcelain of Chinese or Indian figures. The term is usually used to describe the European porcelain. Pagoda Figure comes from the term pagode or religious figures housed in pagoda shrines. (Kisluk-Grosheide, `The Reign of Magots and Pagods`, Metropolitan Museum Journal 73, 2002, pp. 177, 181, 182, 184).