Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ho-Ho - The Little Laughing Buddha

Almost thirty years after Rose O’Neill dreamed up the idea for the Kewpie, she came up with one last idea before she retired: the Ho-Ho. The Ho-Hos look like little laughing Buddha figures. They have a very unique laughing expression in which Rose O’Neill says that she had the idea for for years. Rose said, “year by year, as the world grew less and less funny, the laugh got clearer in my mind. It is the sort of laugh that makes a laugh in the beholder, as kindness makes the warmth of returning kindness.  Ho-Ho is a sort of little clown-Buddha, all his stored-up wisdom finding its last word in the supreme wisdom of laughter. This kind of laughter is man’s final defense against despair.” It is sad that the Ho-Ho was Rose’s last creation because it was not very successful.

This photo of Rose holding a Ho-Ho was taken shortly before she passed away.

These are a few of the Ho-Hos that are on display at the Bonniebrook museum in Walnut Shade, MO.

View of the back of a Ho-Ho.

View of the bottom of a Ho-Ho (signed by Rose's sister Kallista).

Advertising postcard for the Ho-Ho.

Rose sitting in the woods with her last creations.

 These photos were taken at Bonniebrook and show the area where the Ho-Hos were made.

This is the actual buffer used to smooth out the Ho-Hos. You can view it in person by taking a tour of the Bonniebrook house which is located in Walnut Shade, MO.


  1. Hola disculpen Rose creó un Buda son riente para una persona importante que esté echó dé otra material más fino y sellos Egipcios por favor gracias

  2. Oe of the squeaky toy Buddhas has sat on my desk for the past 15 years. It is inscribed with her signature on the Buddha's left rear hip.