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IMAGE : Fukusuke
Fukusuke is one of the Japanese traditional characters which are said to increase the fortune and bring good luck. Formally dressed in a Kamishimo ceremonial dress with a big head and Fukumimi (plump ears, said to bring good fortune). Fukusuke has a distinctive appearance. The original form is said to be established in the mid Edo period. It became widely known after a Fushimi doll from Kyoto had used Fukusuke as a motif. Fukusuke's design clearly shows the aspects of Edo cultures such as Fukumimi, based on then-popular physiognomy; Kamishimo, a customarily-worn formal dress in the Edo period; patterned Kamishimo dyed with fine repeated Komon patterns; and Seiza, an upright sitting position which was popular in the mid Edo period. As folk religion spread among general public between the Edo and Meiji periods, good-luck-bringing Fukusuke was considered "Kami no okyaku (a guest of god)" as a god of happiness. And people put a Zabuton cushion under the Fukusuke doll to show courtesy. When the character was established, the motif was a baby-faced man. But since the Meiji era, the design has transformed into an appearance of a child under the influence of the childlike characters from the West such as Kewpie and Billiken.