Day of the Rooster – Japan

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Tori-no-Ichi or the Day of the Rooster, is a fair held at various Otori-jinja shrines found in all parts of Japan. The patron deity of good fortune and successful business is enshrined at Otori-jinja shrines, and on these days of the rooster, a fair is set up in the precincts, where various vendors can be found selling kumade rakes which are symbolically used for “raking in wealth and good fortune.” This good-luck rake is composed of bamboo and is adorned with masks and old gold coins (koban).

Fun note: When a rake is sold, it is extremely common practice for the seller and buyer to clap their hands in harmony with one another.

The rooster (Tori) itself is actually one of the Junishi or twelve animal signs of the Oriental zodiac. The celebration of Tori-no-Ichi is conducted according to old Japanese customs, and is held on the days of the roster which take place annually in November, every 12 days.

The Otori-jinja Shrine in Taito-ku, near Asakusa, is the most famous shrine for the festivities, but there are various other fairs held in about 30 other shrines throughout Tokyo.  Some include: Hanazono-jinja Shrine in Shinjuku-ku, Kitano-jinja Shrine in Nakano-ku and Ebara-jinja Shrine in Shinagawa-ku.


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