I don't know about you but when at school some of the most interesting mental excursions were into the realms of myths and legends.
I think it was partly because of the mystical creatures with magical powers which encouraged the imagination stretch a little further. The artwork that came from such stories was weird and wonderful.
The story below is from the east - enjoy.
The Seven Lucky Gods and Their Role in Japanese Folklore
If you have ever been to Japan, you might have come across statues of the Seven Lucky Gods in a Shinto or Buddhist shrine. You may also have seen portrayals of them in woodblock prints or noticed them being sold to tourists as figurines, dolls and charms. The Seven Lucky Gods are derived from a range of different cultural influences and their symbolic representations vary, leaving many visitors to Japan scratching their heads and wondering: who are the seven lucky gods, and what is the symbolic significance of these curious figures?
The Seven Lucky Gods are known in Japan as Shichi Fukujin, the ‘Seven Gods of Good Fortune’. Adapted from various Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist and Shinto gods and saints, they are thought to have been grouped together in Japanese folklore around the 17th Century.
According to tradition, the Seven Lucky Gods arrive aboard a treasure-laden ship (Takarabune) on New Year’s Day and distribute gifts of wealth and prosperity to worthy people. The Takarabune is often pictured on pochibukuro, the red envelopes used to give money to children at New Year. It is said that those who leave a picture of the Seven Lucky Gods under their pillows on New Year’s Eve will enjoy a whole year of good luck.