Toka Ebisu - Imamiya Shrine
love Toka Ebisu festival (Ebessan). Ebisu is the patron deity of
and fishermen. The merchants have great faith in Ebisu.
He is said to be hard of hearing because too many people
they wished. So they have to beat the gong at the back of the main
shrine building after they offer money
in the coffer at the front. Ebisu is generally represented as a fat,
smiling, bearded fisherman holding a fishing rod and a large sea bream,
a king of fish.
visitors come along the
promenade shouting, shobai hanjyo
business is thriving, so bring out the bamboo. They
buy fukuzasa, good luck bamboo decorated with models of tai (a sea
bream), koban (an
old Japanese gold coin) and komedawara (a straw rice bag), from
fukumusume, maidens of fortune
– fifty pretty
young women selected every year for this occasion among 6,000 entries.
a god who is up against the lucky gods is called binbogami, poverty god
or penurious god. Contrary to the lucky gods, the binbogami is
skeletally prominent in shabby clothes, with broken uchiwa (paper fan)
in hand. If you saw the binbogami in your first dream of the year (hatsuyume),
you’d better undergo a prayer for asking him to retreat, or the
binbogami would settle in your home comfortably. Or it might be too
As a matter of fact the identity of Ebisu is not clearly determined. Many
people believe that Ebisu is Hiruko, the first child of Izanagi and Izanami, born without bones, arms and legs
due to his mother's transgression during the marriage ritual. Hiruko was
cast to the sea in a boat of reeds before his third birthday. He
eventually washed ashore in
The weak child grew legs and the rest of his skeletal structure, and became the god Ebisu. He remains slightly crippled and deaf, but mirthful and auspicious nonetheless. Ebisu's festival is celebrated on the twentieth day of the tenth month, Kannazuki (the month without gods). While the other eight million members of the Japanese pantheon gather at the Grand Shrine of Izumo, Ebisu does not hear the summons and is thus still available for worship.
Copyright (C) : Kari Gröhn All rights reserved.