Benzaiten or Benten
   One of the shichi-fuku-jin. Originally Sarasvati, a deity of Hindu origin introduced to Japan with Buddhism and associated with the arts and music. In Japan she has been credited with the power to grant longevity, eloquence, wisdom and military victory as well as providing protection from natural disasters. Her symbol is the biwa (lute) and she is often represented with coils of snakes, believed to stand for jealousy, which discourages married couples from visiting her shrine together. She has a 'Shinto' name, ichikishima-hime-no-mikoto but often neither priests nor worshippers distinguish her as being particularly Shinto or Buddhist.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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