I was walking on a little street off of Jinmen Jie in Taipei, and a jewelry store instantly caught my eye. The place was sporting a very large, gilded statue of Ganesh[a], the elaphant-headed Hindu deity who helps people through hard times. It was situated just like a normal Chinese shrine, complete with incense and food offerings. I went in and asked, and the boss told me she was a big fan of this deity, whom she called “Ma Ni Xiang”, or something like that.
I’ve read about a secret sect of Ganesh devotees in Japan, where they called him “Kenguri-ten”, or something like that, and believed him to have something to do with fertility. Apparently this sect and its rites were very secretive, and no one ever got to glimpse the actual statue, which was shouded and dipped in oil for one of their ceremonies (weird, huh?!)
Anyway, I have NEVER heard of any Chinese who worship Ganesh, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were. Does anyone know anything about this? If this jeweller is not just an eccentric, but one of many, where could I find out more about Chinese Ganesha devotees? Are they a very secretive community like the ones in Japan?