rather inaccurate name given by Westerners to the Bodhisattva
Maitreya as he is depicted in Chinese iconography. Maitreya
means the Loving or Friendly One and consequently ancient
artists thought it appropriate to depict this bodhisattva
as a rotund, cheerfully smiling character. Statues of
Maitreya are usually found at the entrance of Chinese
temples and among more superstitious Chinese Buddhists
are sometimes worshipped as a god of good luck and prosperity.