Daikoku, Japanese Shinto deity


Monologue by Eric Evonsion '23

Major: Accounting

Fall 2020

Oh hello there. It’s so nice to see travelers in my home. It’s been slow around here, but I’m glad that you folks are here. Ah! I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Daikokuten but some people call me Daikoku, whatever is easier. You know, I too was once a traveler. Let me tell you the story of how I ended up here.

It all began for me when I originally started as a Hindu Warrior deity by the name of Mahakala. However, my time as a warrior was pretty short lived. Many people said I was just too happy to be a warrior. And to tell you the truth, I agree with them. I’ve been stuck smiling ever since I was carved in the 19th century and, let me tell you, it never gets old. Anyway, I made the journey from India over to Japan - oh I don’t know - about 1,000 years ago, give or take a couple hundred years. I can’t quite remember exactly when, since its been so long. All the memories are so old and some are just a little hazy. Once I got to Japan I just stayed there and that’s been my spiritual home ever since. But now, I’m physically here in Lexington and while it’s not quite Japan, I do appreciate being placed in Tucker Hall - a place with so many other interesting pieces of art, who I consider my friends.

Oh what was that? You’d like to hear about my friends back home? I have a couple of really good friends back home that I think you ought to hear about. They call me and my crew the 7 Lucky Gods. My closest friend both physically and spiritually is Ebisu. Actually, if you do a quick look around the room, you’ll see him in one of the other corners. He’s a little shy so he might not have a story to tell you, but he’s a very friendly fellow. Actually while you’re here would you mind looking around for his fishing rod? It should be in his right hand, but I think he accidentally misplaced it. You’d think he wouldn’t lose his fishing rod since he is the patron of fishermen and tradesmen, but at least he’s still smiling over there. I have 5 other friends that are similar to Ebisu and I, but I won’t bore you with all their stories.

What am I known for you ask? Well I don’t know if you noticed but I’m actually sitting on two bags of rice right now. That’s because I’m the God of Earth and Agriculture. I have a little secret to tell you. Usually there are rats sitting around me, but I haven’t seen them in a while. I think they might be running around in this building somewhere. If you see one, running around in this building or on campus it probably is a descendant of the rats I brought here. Sometimes, when people leave the door open for too long, they’ll run by and sit with me for a little bit.

Also, I just want to get ahead of the rumors because I know what your thinking. “This guy looks familiar. I know I’ve seen him somewhere.” Well, you’d be correct. Even though I’m in Tucker Hall, there are other statues and pictures of me in kitchens across the globe. With all due respect to Pitbull, I think I could also be called Mr. Worldwide. People sometimes have photos of me because I’m a deity of the kitchen and a provider of food. I’ve actually had many people come by and tell me that they’ve seen photos of me on campus in the kitchen of D-Hall.

Now, I've had quite a bit of good fortune on my journey around the world and I’m glad to be here in Lexington talking to you. I really want to share my good fortune and give you some of the treasure in my treasure sack before you go. I’ve had this treasure for so long and I just want to do my job of spreading the wealth around. What was that? Oh I forgot about the glass they put up. Hmm. Let me think this one through… I’ve got it. While I can’t give you my lucky treasure, I can help you out. Do you see the mallet in my right hand? It’s actually my lucky mallet. It’s Japanese name is Uchide no Kozuchi. I can use it to grant you anything you wish for. Go ahead make a wish (Pause 10 seconds) *3 hammer taps*

You’re wish has now been granted. *yawn* well, im getting a bit tired so I think I’m going to take a nap, but I hope you have safe travels and have good forturne. Sayonara!

Daikoku, Japanese Shinto deity