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The Seven Deities of Good Fortune (Shichifukujin)

Happy new year! This is Yoko from iTWS japan. As we will continue to update our blog also this year, we would like you to enjoy!

Many Japanese visit temples and shrines during New Years. This year, I visited some of them related to the seven gods of good fortune (we call it “shichifukujin” in Japanese). They bring us a good luck, and are usually drawn on a treasure ship. There are many temples and shrines which have a connection with seven lucky gods all over Japan. People have visited those places to pray for good luck for a long time. It is said that visiting “Shichifukujin” became widely known in Muromachi era (1333 – 1573). Today, I will introduce those seven lucky deities.

【Ebisu】
Ebisu is only Japanese god. He wear a hat, has a fishing pole and a sea bream. He is the god of business success.

【Daikokuten】
Daikokuten is Indian god. He put on a hood, has a small gavel and big bag. As he is the god of agriculture, he gives harvest to people.

【Bishamonten】
Bishamonten is also Indian god. He wears an armor, because he is the god of victory. He is known to get rid of evil spirits and bring you good luck.

【Benzaiten】
Benzaiten is the only goddess in 7 deities from India. She plays Biwa, Japanese instrument, like a lute. She is the goddess of financial fortune, music and art.

【Fukurokuju】
Fukurokuju is Chinese god. His head is very long, and he has a stick. He is the god of longevity.

【Jurojin】
Jurojin is also Chinese god of longevity. He has a peach, and he is always with deer.

【Hotei】
Hotei is Chinese god with beer belly. He has a big bag. He is the god of happiness and good fortune.

Well, what did you think? By the way, I am interested in what’s inside of Hotei’s big bag. If you visit Japan and want a guided tour of Shichifukujin temples and shrines, I’d appreciate being your tour guide!

Thank you for reading. May 2022 be a happy and great year!

Yoko Yoshida, a member of iTWS japan LLP
e-mail: yoko.yoshida@i3ws.co.jp

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