Buddha in a bottle

My grandfather’s house has an immense collection of Buddha statues, extending throughout the entire length of the living room. The most interesting Buddha in the three altars is one in a bottle. It is amazing how the artisan managed to put the elaborate altar, details like the disciples and flower vases inside the bottle, but what is even more amazing is its history.

The statue is modeled after the Buddha statue style on the right.

The Buddha statue was made during World War II in Rangoon specifically for the purpose of being lightweight and portable. During the Japanese invasion, my grandmother and her family fled Burma and escaped to Yunnan. The family could not afford to bring many things with them, so they left the country with what they needed, including the Buddha statue. Many of my great-uncles chose to stay in Yunnan after the war, because they had settled there. However, my grandmother did not, because she missed her homeland too much. After the war, she returned to Rangoon and soon married a Bassein (Pathein)-born man, my grandfather.


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