Fukusuke’s name means “good fortune.” He is a spirit of general prosperity but is especially associated with merchants. Before the remarkable ascendance of Maneki Neko, images of Fukusuke were kept by merchants and shopkeepers to attract prosperity, business, and customers. They may still be used in this way. Fukusuke and Maneki Neko will happily share altar space or a storefront. Although he is not counted among what is now the standard group, in the past Fukusuke has sometimes been classified among the Shichi Fukujin, the Seven Spirits of Good Luck. Fukusuke has a family who may be venerated alongside him. His wife’s name is Ofuke, and their daughter is Fukumusume. All may be venerated together. Keeping his family near may enhance Fukusuke’s powers. Place Fukusuke’s image by the main entrance or in a shop window, looking outward so that he can attract and greet customers and business.
A friendly man with a disproportionately large head and big, prominent ears (the better to hear you with) is depicted in the act of bowing respectfully to customers and patrons. His ear lobes hang, indicating his wealth by the weight of the earrings he customarily wears. He usually wears a formal kimono.
- Maneki Neko
- Shichi Fukujin
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.