God of Longevity
I am Fukurujuku, more easily known as The God of Longevity. In Japanese mythology, I am one of Shichi-fuku-jin (Seven Gods of Luck). My name goes like this: Fuku = Happiness, Roku = Wealth, and Ju = Longevity. As you see, I am holding a peach. A legend in Chinese Daoist mythology is that the Peach of Immortality grew in the garden of Xiwangmu (“Queen Mother of the West”). The peach, because of its mystical properties, was believed to confer longevity on those who ate them. In Japanese culture, peaches were thought to eliminate misfortune and evil. In Korea, sweet peaches were the fruit of happiness, longevity, riches, and honor.
I started my journey in Japan during the Meiji Period (1867-1912). Mary Hulton Phillips, Founder of The Maridon Museum, was drawn to me because of my peaceful expression and the beautiful artistic detail of my garments. My expression reflects the peace and gentle beauty of the treasured elephant that I am so honored to have as the essence of my being.
I have appeared in several special exhibits, including “Fabulous Fruit” and “Treasure or Trinket,” in our Side Gallery. I also went on a special outing to the Butler Symphony, where I was visited by a wonderful crowd of theatergoers. Those cultural enthusiasts enjoyed music and the arts in the same evening. Hope to see you when I make my next special appearance.