The monk named Hotei (literally, "Cloth Bag") is a popular East Asian Buddhist figure who wanders the countryside with his staff and large bag. Fond of children, Hotei is always cheerful, and is the "Buddha" often seen in Chinese restaurants. (He is considered to be an incarnation of the Buddha Maitreya.) Hakuin here envisions Hotei as a kite, his huge bag ballooning around him. Hotei is full of joy, floating free, yet connected to the earth.
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