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Good Luck Rakes at Tori No Ichi

The Tori no Ichi fair has been held each November on the days of the rooster since 1630 when people came to pray for heath and good harvests by dedicating a rooster to the local deity. The event takes place each year at Tokyo’s Temple of Tori (Juzaisan Chokoku-ji) and Ootori Jinja Shrine in Asakusa and this year the final fair day will be November 29th.  

In modern times people no longer dedicate a roster, they purchase kumade, decorative bamboo rakes, and otafuku, masks depicting a round-faced woman, from vendors who set up stalls on the grounds of the temple on the day of the fair.  Many believe that displaying a kumade will ensure a prosperous business and good luck in the upcoming year and that one must buy a larger kumade each year to ensure the effectiveness of your prayer.  As a result there are some very large and ornate kumade being carted off by the locals.  

Decorations that commonly adorn kumade include masks of lucky Gods, replicas of gold coins, the seven gods of good fortune (Shichi-Fuku-Jin), miniature treasure ships (Takarabune) and chests, bales of rice, sea bream and even small replicas of shrines.  The lively vendors hawk their beautiful wares until midnight and the silver and gold decorations on the kumade add a sparkle to the evening that is a sight to behold.