Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gods And Goddesses: Ebisu

Ebisu is one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Japan, also called Yebisu or Hiruko. He is the god of fishermen, good fortune, commerce, good luck, merchants and honest labour. His virtue is said to be of fair dealing. Ebisu is also known to hold a red snapper (a fish symbolizing luck and congratulation), but also known of often have a fishing rod in his right hand while a folding fan in the other.

Ebisu himself is fat, bearded and a often smiling fishermen, and a rather popular god out of the Seven Lucky Gods who is actually a protector of the health of small children, as well as the patron of tradesmen and fishermen. His image can be seen frequency in shops in Japan and in some Shinto shrines Ebisu is identified with Hiru-ko (the misconceived firstborn son of the creator couple Izanagi and Izanami).

Ebisu has a festival which is celebrated on the twentieth day of the tenth month while the other gods gather at a place known as The Grand Shrine of Izumo. Reason why Ebisu is not at the Grand Shine himself is due to poor hearing, as he doesn’t hear the summons and still available for worship thanks to this.

Ebisu is also paired with another of the Seven Lucky Gods frequently, Daikokuten, who are said to be father and son or master and apprentice by some.

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