I love anime. It has more originality and life than our desi serials that are pompous, boring and often regressive. That being said, it also gives me a kick that our culture has made such an impact on the Japanese ethos. Budhism of course, as we love to point out, originated in India. What very few people except die hard Japanese anime and culture fans know is that Shinto (religion before Budhism) was also influenced by our culture. Our Gods travelled into Japan, possibly via China ……. and into their mythology too.
The seven gods of fortune in Shinto are
Hotei, Juroujin, Fukurokuju, Bishamonten, Benzaiten, Daikokuten, Ebisu
Hotei : Fat, happy, the God of abundance and wealth
Juroujin : God of wisdom
Fukurokuju : God of happiness, wealth and longevity
Bishamonten : God of warriors …. known as Kubera in India
Benzaiten : or Benten- sama Goddess of knowledge, art and beauty, especially music. We know her as Saraswati
Daikokuten : (Daikoku), God of wealth, commerce and trade. We know him as Shiva. Along with Ebisu, he has space in all small business establishments, rather like Laxmi and Ganesh in our shops
Ebisu : God of fishermen and commerce
I love Shiva. I named my elder one Ishaan and younger one Kartikeya. He is all about attitude, power, fertility and he is also the destroyer. As someone who loves to research such stuff, I really wondered how Shiva underwent a major mood and attitude improvement when he reached Japan.
Thankfully that is just Shiva in a good mood. Oh and Ishaan also finds a place in the Japanese mythology.