Around the New Year’s Eve, many Japanese start looking to purchase the next years traditional good luck charms. Usually, these lucky items are sold at fairs, or at temples and shrines, some of them around the year while others only for a limited time after the New Year.
Kumade are the first charms sold, being available at fairs taking place in mid-November, during the days of the rooster after the Chinese zodiac.
In fact, Kumade are entire collections of lucky charms, stuck together on a bamboo rake to “rake in wealth and good fortune". On the kumade photographed here you can see an otafuku female mask used in the Kyogen theater (considered to bring happiness and prosperity), several old koban Japanese gold coins (for good luck in business), the god Ebisu, one of the Shichi Fukujin (also for prosperity), and a couple of red koi, representing perseverance and strength. Also, the pine twigs on the top are symbolizing long life.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: