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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:28 pm
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Location: Indiana
Until just recently, my CJ collecting focus has been on the early metal japanned prizes. I've just started looking at the 40's-60's plastic prizes, and started a collection of the CCC "woodcuts".

The Oriental figures struck me as an interesting series also. I looked through some old threads and it seems that these are generally thought to be Chinese people/gods, etc.

However, I believe they represent the 7 Japanese gods of fortune. The fact that there are 7 different characters, and that they seem to match up, appears to be too much of a coincidence for them not to be the 7 gods of fortune.

Hotei - god of abundance and health, (F-4400-2 the seated "happy fat man")

Ebisu - god of fisherman and merchants usually depicted holding a fish. (F-4400-1, man holding fish)

Benzaiten - goddess of knowledge/art/music depicted in the lotus sitting position (F-4320-1, seated man with hands folded in prayer) It's obviously a female character, despite being described as a man in the CJ reference book.

Bishamonten - god of warriors depicted holding a pagoda (F-4400-4, man holding object)

Diakokuten - god of wealth and commerce (F-4400-3, man holding round objects)

Jurojin - god of longevity (F-4300-1 man with basket, hair parted)
Fukurokuju - god of longevity/happiness (F-4300-2 man with basket, hair not parted)

The last two are almost identical gods in Japanese mythology, which may explain why the CJ characters are almost identical.

I'm not certain on the character identifications. The characters depicted don't always match up with the descriptions of the gods, i.e. beards, holding a staff, etc.

It's just a theory, but it seems to fit better than the random "Chinese god/character" identification.

Let me know what you think and if anyone has pictures of these in their collection, please feel free to post them.

Don


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:29 pm 
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We did have a thread about this, where we were trying to give names to them. We weren't very successful.
For those who've forgotten about it, can read it here -> http://www.crackerjackcollectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=563&view=next

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:31 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:19 am
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just got back from my yoga class to read this wonderful post! Thanks for the information!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Here's what are the ones I have. Using your names, I found pictures on the web, and put them behind the Cracker Jack prizes. I'm missing (F-4300-2 man with basket, hair not parted).

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:29 am 
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Neat Luke!

As I mentioned in the first post, many of these are spot on, others not so much (beards etc.).

I still think we're on to something though.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:50 am 
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Images of various deities change from artist to artist, and from different eras, as well as regions. So I expect things like beard styles and other things to be varied.

Does anyone have a picture of F-4300-1 and F-4300-2, so I can see a side by side comparison? Is the difference in the two, just the parting of the hair? Could it just be a little bit of plastic leftover on the head, that makes it look like two different pieces?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:27 am 
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Here's a picture I found in Alex Jarmillo's book. The body appears the same as F4300-1 but it clearly has a different head/hair.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Ahhh, I see it now. He's wearing a leaf to protect his bald spot from the sun. :)
I have 7 of the other version, and none of him. :(

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:58 am
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Hello, Berean, Luke and Everyone! :hiya:

Hey, I have a real rare variety of the plastic figure or this figure was bit in the head by a kid back then! :jester:

CJAAAJ :nutty:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:10 am 
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Alex, you always did have a nice collection of rare pieces. If I ever get out to the west coast, I'd love to take a tour of your many wondrous toys.

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