Fukuden (福天)

Fukuden is a deity bringing happiness in folk beliefs in Japan. Also called Fuku no Kami or Fukujin. Although it is sometimes considered that it is a deity and called Fukujin or Fuku no Kami in Shinto, and it is one of the Tenbu (group of Protectors of Buddhist Laws) and called Fukuden in Buddhism, there is no strict distinction.

"Binbo Gami (deity of poverty) and Fuku no Kami (or Fuku no Kami and Binbo Gami)" in old tales have different stories, but Fuku no Kami and Binbo Gami appear as deities in a pair. It is also said that Fuku no Kami is the older sister and called Kisshoten, and Binbo Gami is the younger sister and called Kokuanten (these two Tenbu deities are also sisters in Buddhism). There is a variation that Binbo Gami transforms into Fuku no Kami when treated cordially, and "Nihon Eitaigura" (The Eternal Storehouse of Japan) by Saikaku IHARA has a story based on this.

It may also refer to Shichifukujin (Seven Deities of Good Luck) or one of them.

In "Fukunokami" of Kyogen (farce played during a Noh play cycle), Fukuden appears at a shrine, and holds a drinking party with Ninen-mairi (a two year visit to a shrine, Dec. 31st to January 1st) worshippers.

[Original Japanese]