Jurōjin or “god of long life” (寿老人図) by Watanabe Shikou (渡辺始興-1683-1755) at the Enkō-ji (圓光寺-円光寺) in Kyoto.
In Japan, Jurōjin (寿老人), also known as Gama, is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune or Shichifukujin, according to Taoist beliefs. He is the God of longevity.
Jurōjin walks with a staff and a fan. He is depicted as an old man of slight stature, and by tradition, less than 3 shaku. He is depicted with a long white beard and often a very tall, bald head. He has a scroll tied to his staff, on which is written the lifespan of all living things. The scroll is sometimes identified as a Buddhist sutra. The deer, a symbol of longevity, usually (but not always) accompanies him as a messenger, as do other long-lived animals such as the crane and the tortoise.
Jurōjin is a popular subject of Japanese ink wash paintings. He was introduced into the Japanese art tradition by Zen Buddhist painters, and depictions of Jurōjin span from the Muromachi period (1337 – 1573) through the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Artists who depicted Jurōjin as a subject include Sesshū (1420 – 1506), Sesson Shukei (1504 – 1589), Kanō Tan’yū (1602 – 1674), and Maruyama Ōkyo (1733 – 1795).