Toka Ebisu Festival 十日戎
Bamboo branches decorated with amulets are distributed or sold.
The fuku-musume, these young women who distribute good fortune.
Amulet of Toka Ebisu lucky festival.
The Pursuit of Happiness
New Year celebrations are barely over and the Japanese are already looking for success for the next twelve months at the Toka Ebisu Festival.
In Osaka in particular, more than one million pilgrims and visitors come to Imamiya Ebisu, founded in the seventh century, to celebrate "Ebessan" the deity of business, trade and fishing. In the past, merchants and pilgrims crossed the specially constructed bridge, Ebisu-hashi Dotonburi which spans the river to visit the lucky shrine. Still today, over three days, from January 9th to 11th, people come in search of success in business and personal growth for the coming year. The custom dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868) and became especially popular in the Kansai region, above all in Osaka.
For luck, bamboo branches decorated with amulets are distributed or sold during the festival. On January 10th, the event is in full swing for the parade of the lucky Palanquin, where six hundred people, including geisha and fuku-musume (a sort of priestesses who brings good fortune) parade on palanquins and offer visitors good omen gifts.
The fuku-musume or consecration
They prepare all year and have several auditions for the big day ... The fuku-musume, these young women that distribute the good fortune, have had to pass several stages of selection among three thousand competitors to have the honor to wander the streets of Osaka during the most famous parade, Toka Ebisu, surrounded by dozens of personalities of the city and geishas.
Animated surroundings of Imamiya Ebisu
Before, during and after the parade, stands inside the precincts of the temple, sell small rice cakes, lucky charms and other knick-knacks that the Japanese are crazy about. On January 10th in the morning, a large fish market is organized, mainly selling bream, a popular fish for celebrations.