Ebisu, Daikoku and Hotei

Artist: Kano Naonobu (1607-1650)
Historical period(s)
Edo period, early 17th century
Folding fan mounted on hanging scroll; ink, color, and gold on paper
H x W (image): 22.5 x 48.7 cm (8 7/8 x 19 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Hanging scroll

Daikoku, dance, Early Edo period (1615 - 1716), Ebisu, Edo period (1615 - 1868), fan, Hauge collection, Hotei, Japan, WWII-era provenance

From early 1950s to 2007
Victor and Takako Hauge [1]

From 2007
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Victor and Takako Hauge in 2007


[1] Acquisition Consideration Report. Acquired in Japan in the early 1950s.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Victor and Takako Hauge American (1919-2013, 1923-2015)


Shimmering gold leaf on paper forms the background for this image of three of the popular gods of good fortune. Hotei dances while Ebisu and Daikoku laugh in delight; the ewer holds the wine that has put the three in high spirits. Ebisu, god of fishermen, sits cross-legged next to a large red snapper while Daikoku, god of wealth, leans on containers of rice. Hotei shoulders his cloth sack and carrying stick, emblematic of his life as a wandering hermit. He is also a popular deity in China, where legends about him evolved within a Zen Buddhist context.

Made to ornament a folding fan, this painting depicts two other kinds of fans—the Japanese-style flat fan that Ebisu waves and the Chinese-style flat fan in Hotei’s hand. Folding fans were in great demand and were painted by nearly all artists of the Edo period (1615–1868), including the Kano-school painters who served the Tokugawa shoguns. Nevertheless, because they were objects for use in daily life, fans often did not survive. Occasionally, fans painted by important artists were saved and mounted for display on hanging scrolls.

Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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