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Jurojin and Fukurokuju – Gods of Longevity and Wisdom

Posted on 16 April 2012

However Fukurokuju – the god of wisdom - is also an old man with a beard but he has a very high or elongated forehead. With his great age and erudition he is a skilled teacher and is often shown surrounded by children. His symbols are those of wisdom and long life: a scroll, a staff, a crane, a tortoise and a stag. The Japanese tortoise or minogame has a long tail which can have a fringe on it to show that the creature has reached such a venerable age that weeds are beginning to grow on it.

Here we have two ivory versions of the same god. Both these representations show the god with the staff of longevity, the one on the left also alludes to his scholarly wisdom with the folded parchments at his feet. In the other, with shibayama inlay, the head is extreme! Also note the tama or wish-granting jewel set in his robe above his belt.

 

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