Fortune through a rake! Tori-no-Ichi



2021.11.11 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

Are you aware of the zodiac animals in Japan? Of twelve, one is designated every year. This year is the year of the ox. By the way, the twelve signs of the zodiac are also applied to the days of the year. Every Cock's Day in November (the 9th and 21st this year), a festival called "Tori-no-Ichi" is held at Otori Shrine and Chokokuji Temple in Taito City (due to the impact of COVID-19, the scale of the festival is reduced this year).

Tori-no-Ichi is a festival to pray for luck and prosperity in business. During this event, the area is gorgeously decorated with rakes and lanterns. It's also lit up at night, creating a very spectacular atmosphere. The rakes, said to bring good fortune, are not only displayed but also sold, and the sale of them is one of the main contents of this festival.

There are many theories about why rakes bring good fortune. Their shape resembles eagle talons, an effective way to "grab ahold" of good luck the way eagles catch prey, or perhaps they are used to "rake up" luck the way we rake leaves. At Tori-no-Ichi, you can buy "Kakkome Kumate (rake)," a talisman based on this rake, at the Otori Shrine and Chokokuji Temple. Some rakes sold there are not only for prosperity but also for the fulfillment of wishes such as love for young people and family safety, so you can likely find something fitting for you.

If you want to know more about Tori-no-Ichi, check out the following website!

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