Often mistaken* for baby Buddha, Osaka has a full-blown shrine built for its faux-Kwepie god, a commercial, copyrighted, Kewpie-like Billiken© doll and the locals have been seriously praying to it since 1912.
Since Billiken© was created and copyrighted in 1908, the Tsutenkaku Tower Corporation who owns the Billiken© Shrine put on a birthday party complete with a mega-creapy mascot god as you can see below in the screenshot from NHK public TV: Billiken’s 100th birthday celebrated at landmark tower in Osaka (Mainichi News, March 31, 2008).
Comparative religion—additional notes
Holy Action Figures
–via the WFMU blog
Kachina Spirits top
Holy Action Figures bottom
The idea for juxtaposition of Hopi Kachina Dolls in Phoenix, Arizona and Japanese Action Toys in a museum in Tokyo came from Benjamen Walker in the WFMU blog. However, I doubt if the original author, Mr. Walker, knows how close these “Holy Action Figures” are to the “truth” in Japan.
For example, at the Godzilla statue in Ginza there are always Shinto-eque offerings of sake, called “omiki.” left for the Godzilla spirit…Yeah! A drunk Godzilla Spirit–that’s what Tokyo needs!