I know, i know. "But this is from Wikipedia!" If you follow the link below you can find references and lots of other information to make you believe that the information presented is accurate, but like everything else on the internet (including many of the comments found on this blog), let the reader beware.Billiken (magazine). Wooden statue of the Billiken enshrined in Tsutenkaku Tower
The Billiken was a charm doll created by an American art teacher and illustrator, Florence Pretz of Kansas City, Missouri, who is said to have seen the mysterious figure in a dream. In 1908, she obtained a design patent on the ornamental design of the Billiken, who was elephant-like with pointed ears, a mischievous smile and a tuft of hair on his pointed head. His arms were short and he was generally sitting with his legs stretched out in front of him. To buy a Billiken was said to give the purchaser luck, but to have one given would be better luck. The image was copyrighted and a trademark was put on the name. After a few years of popularity, like other fad toys, the Billiken faded into obscurity. The Billiken should not be confused with baby-like Kewpie figures that debuted in the December 1909 Ladies' Home Journal.
Many current on-line articles about the Billikens are based on an article by anthropologist Dorothy Jean Ray that first appeared in Alaska Sportsman (now Alaska) in 1960, with an updated version in Alaska Journal in 1973.