I remember when I was younger, my mom used to have her friend's mom (who was Japanese) look after me when she went to work or school. She was a nice woman, lived in a good neighborhood and had plenty of stories to tell. I liked going over there...except for one thing.
I was not a very tall child and the first thing you see when you enter her house is a very tall, VERY frightening, laughing Buddha statue. When I first entered her house, I had my back to the rest of the house; and when I turned around, I was taken aback and just froze in my place. I was a little scared of it, but also very fascinated by it. I guess it was the beginning of my interest in Buddhism and of eastern religion in general.
How about the rest of you?