From: [log in to unmask]>Mangiat
My sister has a Japanese rosary, probably a buddhist one (we'd talked about rosaries last month, but I don't remember very well the description BP Jonsson did about buddhist rosasies). The problem is: there are 3 ideograms on each bead. I've been able to find the radical and the whole ideogram of 2 of them: 


The third is undeciphrable. Could you please tell me: does it mean something, or if it is only an HOAX???

My guess would be that you're looking at the three ingredients of a happy life: happiness (fu2), prosperity (lu4), and longevity (shou4). Shou4 is a bear of a character to remember how to write even though it has only fourteen strokes -- probably because of all the horizontal lines. If you can't find "shou4" phonetically in whatever resource you're using, try looking under the three-stroke "scholar" radical and then eleven additional strokes. Together, these three are personified as deities, "The Three Stars". "Longevity" is an old bald guy holding a staff and a peach (another longevity symbol). I think these are Taoist deities rather than Buddhist, but there's a lot of mixing and matching. Anyway, if that ain't it, let me know.