Japanese - A sea-goddess, goddess of music, speech and wealth. One of 7 Shinto deities of good. Fortune known as the Shichi Fukujin. In one story she descended to earth and married a dragon king, persuading him to give up his wicked habit of eating young children. Another story tells how she helped the young poet Baishu, who had found a poem written by a maiden and had fallen in love with her without having met her. He prayed to Benten who arranged that he should meet the girl as he left the shrine. It later turned out that this girl was, in fact, the soul of the maiden whom he later met and married. Some of her statues show her with snakes while others show her as having eight arms, six of which are raised with hands holding various objects, such as a bow and arrow, the other two being folded in prayer. She is sometimes depicted playing a kind of flute known as a biwa. Also referred to as Benten, Benten-san, Benten-san, Benzai-ten, Benzai-ten, Benten-San, Benten-San, Queen of Love, Queen of Love, Aphrodite, Astarte, Sarasvati, Venus, Hindu Sarasvati or Hindu Sarasvati.

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