Transcribed from my "Hotei: God of Wits and Bartenders - On a Magnetic Base!" statue:

The History of Hotei
Hotei was a real person, Kaishi in Chinese, who died in 961. He was a zen priest who cited Buddhist teachings and roamed around looking scruffy. The Chinese called him Ho-Tei-Shi, which means "old cloth bag." But he was a wonderful speaker and storyteller.