One of the most beautiful Japanese traditions related to the New Year is the celebration of the Seven Gods of Luck (Shichifukujin), a custom somehow similar to Santa Claus: at the New Year, the Lucky Gods are bringing gifts and good luck to those who believe in them, traveling in their ship called Takarabune (which means “treasure ship").
The image of the Takarabune, considered a lucky charm in itself, is displayed during the New Year’s celebrations in various places. Here is a very beautiful representation, unusually presented as a painting, discovered on the streets of Matsumoto (I have no idea what’s with the Van Gogh sign)… (^_^)
If you want to identify them, in the upper position is Daikokuten (God of wealth and prosperity), on the second row, from left to right, Bishamonten (God of war and warriors), Hotei (God of happiness, satisfaction and abundance), Juroujin (God of longevity) and on the third row: Benzaiten (Goddess of arts and knowledge), Ebisu (God of good fortune, commerce and honest work) and Fukurokuju (God of happiness, wisdom, longevity, virility and fertility).
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: