According to Shinto tradition, the good luck charms are “working” just one year, and they need to be replaced at the beginning of the New Year. Some of them are found only at shrines or temples, and some are sold at specific fairs.
Among the latter you will find the kumade, bamboo racks decorated with a large collection of lucky charms, put together to “rake in the good luck". Each of these auspicious items contributes to the value of the kumade.
Photographed here is one of the richest I have found: it has miniature statues of Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of Fortune (Shichi Fukujin), god of good fortune, commerce and honest work, 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), red koi representing perseverance and strength, cranes and pine twigs (symbols of longevity), and miniature bags of rice for good luck in business.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: