The Japanese Bhuddist deity Benzaiten is a derivative of the Hindu river goddess, Sravasti. She came to Japan in the 7th century via China. The Japanese revere her as a harbinger of wealth and good fortune. Maintaining her undoubted affinity for water, you’ll find this black-teethed beauty midway between Tokyo’s Sumida River and the famous Tsukiji Fish Market.
Blackened teeth were a common practice among betrothed women and kamuro. Brides would apply dye to their teeth before entering their husband’s home to indicate coming of age or maturity. Similarly, kamuro, progressing from being a courtesan’s pupil or maid, would collect ingredients from seven friends and dye her teeth black before accepting her first client.