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Daikokuten facts for kids

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Daikoku, the God of Wealth in Taoism

In Japan, Daikokuten (大黒天), is one of the Seven Lucky Gods. Daikokuten came from the Indian god, Shiva. Daikoku wears Japanese robes and has a happy and smiling personality.


Daikoku's pictures are found in the temples of Tibet and China and the god enjoys a high position as a household god in Japan. Daikoku's connection with wealth and success started a strange ritual known as Fuku-nusubi. This ritual started with the belief that the person who stole figures of gods and goddesses was promised good luck, if they were not caught while stealing. Eventually, stealing divine figures became so common that the Toshi-no-ichi or the ‘year-end-market’ held in the Asakusa Kannon temple became the main place where the sale of these images was held.


Amaterasu cave crop.jpg

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

Daikoku is considered to be the god of wealth or the household, mostly the kitchen. He is recognised from his wide face, smile, and a flat black hat. He is often shown holding a golden mallet and sitting on bales of rice.

  • Japan and Indian Asia by Hajime Nakamura. Publisher: Firma KLM, 1961. Publication Date: 1961
  • India and Japan: A Study in interaction during 5th cent - 14th century - By Upendra Thakur.


Bank of Japan silver convertible one yen banknote 1885
An old one-yen bank note, first issued in 1885, with a picture of Daikokuten.

The earliest Japanese representations of Mahākāla-Daikokuten can be classified into two types: one (associated with the Shingon school) shows the deity standing, his left hand holding a sack slung over his shoulder, with his right hand clenched into a fist and resting on the right hip, while the other (associated with the Tendai school) depicts him as sitting. Most of these images show Daikokuten wearing Japanese clothing, though a few has him wearing armor.

Daikokuten Statue at Kanda Myojin
Statue of Ōkuninushi as Daikokuten in Kanda Shrine (Kanda Myōjin) in Tokyo

Daikokuten's iconography evolved during the 14th century onwards, when he increasingly became portrayed as a smiling man with a rotund belly, holding a mallet and standing or sitting on rice bales.

During the 16th century (late Muromachi period), the three deities Daikokuten, Vaiśravaṇa-Bishamonten and Sarasvatī-Benzaiten were fused together into the three-headed 'Sanmen Daikokuten' (三面大黒天, lit. "Three-Faced Daikokuten").


The god continues to enjoy an exalted position as a deity of fortune and the household in Japan. Images of Daikokuten can be found in both Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in the country.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Daikokuten para niños

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