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Gods: seven, four, and more

On this page: The seven gods - The four gods - Other deities

The seven gods

The Seven Lucky Gods (Shichi-fuku-jin) are an assemblage of deities from all across Asia, who are invariably seen as bringers of wordly wealth, most typically in their "treasure boat".

Mark Schumacher again has a detailed page on the Seven gods.

Seven gods and seven wishes
© Ukai Yuhei

1000: Seven gods and seven wishes (Yuhei)

The seven gods gather in a group with all the usual lucky emblems around them — red Mt Fuji, cranes, turtles, and so on. The rather jolly two in front are Daikokuten and Ebisu, who are somehow producing money by pounding the glutinous mochi rice which is traditionally always prepared this way.

No biographical information is to be found on the artist Ukai Yuhei, another of the craft producers of traditional images particularly for kakemono scrolls. He signs his work the traditional way, with his given name Yuhei, and a seal of the same.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 50 x 75 cm (20" x 30")
Code: A10679 (1000-679 on package)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.57 €26.32 £23.44)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.43 €10.53 £9.38)
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Treasure boat
© Mori Seikaku

1000: Treasure boat (Seikaku)

The seven lucky gods arrive on their boat, heavily laden with treasure — the giant character on the sail is the old form of takara, or "treasure". Cranes and other auspicious creatures surround them, and the rising sun and a red Mount Fuji complete the background.

No biographical details, but the artist Mori Seikaku specialises in animal and flower scroll paintings. He signs his work the traditional way, with the characters for his given (brush) name, Seikaku (lit. 'nest of the crane') and a seal of the same.

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E11562 (11-562 on package)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.57 €26.32 £23.44)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.43 €10.53 £9.38)
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Seven gods in their treasure boat
© Hakuga Takeuchi

1000: Seven gods in their treasure boat (Hakuga)

The seven gods sail their boatload of treasure past an island complete with gnarled pine, plum blossom, and bamboo. They all have jovial expressions, except perhaps Benzaiten who looks as though she is concentrating on playing the lute.

The artist was born in 1948, in Niigata. After working for a textile company, he went independent as a textile designer. He has his own individual drawing style, bringing a fresh approach to many traditional art themes.

He goes by his given name, Hakuga, in the traditional way, signing his paintings in a stylised, but non-cursive form.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10814 (1000-814 on package)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.57 €26.32 £23.44)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.43 €10.53 £9.38)
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Seven gods and the treasure tree
© Hakuga Takeuchi

1000: Seven gods and the treasure tree (Hakuga)

That lovable bunch, the seven gods, admire this shapely tree. Even its leaves and cones seem to be made of money, but written down the branches are all sorts of invocations, to fortune, friendship, marital harmony, and so on, all ending (in a pun) with the big character for "tree" (木) at the bottom. Auspicious cranes and red Mount Fuji complete the scene and ensure no boringly uniform areas.

The artist was born in 1948, in Niigata. After working for a textile company, he went independent as a textile designer. He has his own individual drawing style, bringing a fresh approach to many traditional art themes.

He goes by his given name, Hakuga, in the traditional way, signing his paintings in a stylised, but non-cursive form.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10805 (1000-805 on package)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.57 €26.32 £23.44)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.43 €10.53 £9.38)
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Seven gods arrive with treasure
© Mori Seikaku

450: Seven gods arrive with treasure (Seikaku)

The seven gods bringing home their treasure ship, conveying wealth and good fortune to us all. They have a jolly demeanour, and their ornately decorated vessel carries the usual chests of gold coin, and also the prized red coral. There are no blank areas in the surroundings, which present more auspicious symbols: cranes, Mt. Fuji, a red snapper, and the Shinto emblems of the torii (ceremonial arch) and two rocks joined by a shimenawa (sacred rope).

No biographical details, but the artist Mori Seikaku specialises in animal and flower scroll paintings. He signs his work the traditional way, with the characters for his given (brush) name, Seikaku (lit. 'nest of the crane') and a seal of the same.

* This puzzle has smaller pieces than the standard size.

In stock
An Apollo puzzle: 450 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: P46507 (46-507 on package)
Retail price ¥1400 (approx. US$13.33 €12.28 £10.94)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.71 €5.26 £4.69)
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The jolly seven gods of fortune
© Hiroyuki Suwahara

300: The jolly seven gods of fortune (Suwahara)

The Seven Lucky Gods (Shichi-fuku-jin) have left their treasure boat, and assembled for a group photo, with Mount Fuji conveniently in the background. Suwahara makes them all look exceedingly jolly - here's the lineup:

Top row, left to right: Bishamonten, Indian god of war and treasure - Benzaiten, Indian goddess of the arts - Jurojin, Chinese god of longevity

Front row, left to right: Fukurokuju, Chinese god of wisdom - Daikokuten, Indian (Mahakala) god of five cereals - Ebisu, Japanese god of commerce - Hotei, Chinese god of happiness

Born in Ibaraki, in 1969, Suwahara embarked on a career as a freeleance illustrator in 1996. He has specialised in historical figures, especially from the Three Kingdoms story, and brings a very modern technique to some traditional themes.

Suwahara is his family name.

In stock
A Beverly puzzle: 300 pieces; 38 x 26 cm (15" x 10")
Code: B63215 (63-215 on package)
Retail price ¥1400 (approx. US$13.33 €12.28 £10.94)
Shipping from ¥600 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$5.71 €5.26 £4.69)
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The four gods

In Chinese mythology these four gods occupy the four corners of the cosmos: the white tiger in the west, the blue dragon in the east, the red phoenix (Suzaku) in the south, and the mysterious Genbu in the north. Mysterious, because Genbu apparently turns up as a snake and a turtle entwined together, which is why the four gods have five heads. These deities are associated with feng shui, and have also appeared in Japanese animations, so they are easy to find on the Web.

Mark Schumacher has lots more details on his page on Ssu Ling (the Chinese name).

The four protector-gods
© Harai Kayomi / Studio Oz

1000: The four protector-gods (Kayomi)

The four gods, the white tiger and blue dragon to west and east, Genbu the entwined snake/turtle to the north, and a splendidly flamboyant Suzaku (the red bird) occupying the foreground. All this in Kayomi's distinctive warm tones making a rich and impressive picture.

No biographical details available. She signs her given name Kayomi in Roman letters.

Out of stock
More stock expected December 11
An Epoch puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: E11340 (11-340 on package)
Retail price ¥3000 (approx. US$28.57 €26.32 £23.44)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.43 €10.53 £9.38)
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Four gods
© Ozuma Kaname

1000: Four gods (Kaname)

In Chinese mythology these four gods occupy the four corners of the cosmos: the white tiger in the west, the blue dragon in the east, the red phoenix (Suzaku) in the south, and the mysterious Genbu in the north. Mysterious, because Genbu apparently turns up as a snake and a turtle entwined together, which is why there are five heads in the picture. These deities are associated with feng shui, and have also appeared in Japanese animations, so they are easy to find on the Web.

The painter Ozuma Kaname was born in 1939, in Niigata. He studied traditional Japanese art, and his pictures are generally based on traditional themes.

Ozuma is his family name: he signs paintings with the single character of his given name only.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10764 (1000-764 on package)
Retail price ¥3200 (approx. US$30.48 €28.07 £25.00)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.43 €10.53 £9.38)
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Other deities

Benzaiten, or Benten

Benzaiten traces her history back to the Hindu goddess Saraswati, and is said to be responsible for everything that flows, which includes water obviously, but also music, eloquence, and thus knowledge. She is a member of the seven lucky gods group above, but often appears on her own. In fact, whole shrines are dedicated to her.

Benzaiten, goddess of water
© Kazuha Fukami

1000: Benzaiten, goddess of water (Kazuha)

Benzaiten is a goddess from Japanese Buddhism (though also having Shinto roots); she is said to represent "all that flows". Here Kazuha's character is playing the biwa, or Japanese lute, also strongly associated with Benzaiten, in an exotically coloured setting.

The artist Kazuha Fukami has produced a series of fantasy images of swirling figures, mostly women, some with swords, some not. According to her own website (http://kazuppo.net) she was born in Tokushima (on the island of Shikoku) in June of 198x, and likes polar bears, cows, natural minerals and more.

This is almost certainly a brush name: the family name Fukami means "deep-well", and Kazuha ("ten-thousand leaves") is an alternative reading of the name attached to the famous collection of ancient Japanese poems, Man'yōshū.

* This is a glow-in-the-dark puzzle.

In stock
A Beverly puzzle: 1000 pieces; 49 x 72 cm (19" x 28")
Code: B81120 (81-120 on package)
Normally ¥3800 - special offer 10% off: ¥3420 (approx. US$32.57 €30.00 £26.72)
Shipping from ¥1100 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$10.48 €9.65 £8.59)
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Benzaiten rides the dragon
© Miki Okuda

500: Benzaiten rides the dragon (Okuda)

Benzaiten rides a classic Japanese dragon, which may be flying through the sky; but she calmly remains balanced enough to carry on playing the biwa (lute).

A young artist from Tokyo, she describes herself as wanting to produce fantastic images...

In stock
An Epoch puzzle: 500 pieces; 38 x 53 cm (15" x 21")
Code: E06106 (06-106 on package)
Retail price ¥2000 (approx. US$19.05 €17.54 £15.63)
Shipping from ¥800 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$7.62 €7.02 £6.25)
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The gods of wind and thunder

These two are generally depicted together, generating their respective natural forces: Fujin makes the wind with his big bag, and Raijin (or Raiden) makes thunder by banging his drums. Mark Schumacher has some more details in his page on the eclectic grouping of the 28 guardians.

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Deleted puzzles

For reference: you can view all the puzzles from this page that are out of print, in the Attic.

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