Budai, is a Chinese folkloric deity. His name means "Cloth Sack, and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. He is usually identified with (or as an incarnation of) Maitreya, so much so that the Budai image is one of the main forms in which Maitreya is depicted in East Asia. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the Laughing Buddha (Chinese: 笑佛). Many Westerners confuse Budai with Gautama Buddha.
By Mike1989 @ 2012-09-21 13:25:19