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Raking in the Gold

Raking in the Gold December 6, 2013
Raking in the Gold

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Meyers, Colorado College.
Japan Study, Academic Year 2010-2011.

“Believed to have begun in the Edo period (1603-1868), Otori shrines around Japan hold annual Tori no Ichi, or Festivals of the Rooster, on the days of the rooster zodiac in the month of November. The Otori Jinja, or Shrine of the Rooster, near Asakusa in Tokyo’s Taito-ku boasts the most famous Tori no Ichi. As pictured, here at this open-air market people buy kumade for good luck (bountiful harvests, good business, wealth, etc.) Kumade are bamboo rakes decorated with good luck symbols, and by purchasing a rake for your home/business, you are “raking in good fortune” for the upcoming year. When a kumade is selected, the nearby onlookers, shoppers, and buying party chant and clap with the vendor – so it is a very lively scene! The basic theme is the bigger the better – and each year you are supposed to buy a bigger one than last year’s!”

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