Q Why are people complimented on having big ears?

A Big earlobes in Japanese are called fukumimi. It is said that people with big earlobes have the potential to become rich. This term comes from the figure of Buddha. According to legend, Buddha was born with webbed fingers, a protuberance on his head, wheels on the soles of his feet, and extraordinarily long ears. The ears were revered in Buddhism because ears serve to hear the voice of god as well as natural revelations.

Buddha now assumes a peaceful and a mystical pose, but his relatively large ears remain the same. Having the same kind of fleshy ears as Buddha indicates good luck.

There are seven gods of good luck familiar to the Japanese called Shichifukuj in and all of them have big ears. Shichifukujin are auspicious gods bestowing a variety of good luck to people. Daikokuten is a god that bestows good luck with money.

The folk belief that people with big ears will be favored with good luck has continued stemming from the above reasons.

The kanji character for words with favorable meanings such as "sacred," "sacredness, ""wise," "wisdom" all con-tain the ear radical, perhaps depicting the importance that was accorded to the ear.