In shops, shrines, homes and gardens throughout Japan, at noisy festivals and in the most serene teahouses, you are likely to encounter the plump, smiling image of Otafuku--a mythic figure from Japan's distant past. With her twinkling eyes and rosy lips, she appears in countless incarnations: on banners, cups and bowls, and in craft, furniture, painting and sculpture. Who is this warm, wonderful lady, whose gentle and calming presence is felt everywhere in Japan? In Otafuku, renowned author Amy Katoh explores in her own inimitable way the colorful world of Otafuku. Katoh traces Otafuku's roots and folk beginnings, showing her many delightful identities, and providing a magical glimpse into this charming and little-known corner of Japanese culture. With a mixture of poems, photographs, anecdotes and stories, she presents a veritable jewel box of surprises that is sure to enchant readers. Today Otafuku is Japan's most influential female icon and is attributed with having many bestowing powers including health, pleasure, success, and the granting of wishes.