Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Toka Ebisu 2018; Imamiya Photo Highlights

今宮戎 十日戎 2018

Held around the the 10th day of the new year, the Toka Ebisu Festival at Imamiya Ebisu Shrine is one of the biggest events in Osaka.
Visitors swarms to the shrine to purchase new charms and dispose of old charms. There are hundreds of vendorts' stalls lining the streets that sell charms, decorations, toys, candy and typical festival foods.

Note the police office overseeing the crowd from the second floor window.

Charm featuring Ebisu (the god of prosperity, commerce and fishermen).
Note the rake shaped charms that are meant to rake in good fortune.

The shrine has a new billboard every year with a theme relating to that year's zodiac animal.
This year is the year of the dog; you can see the other animals featured along the edges.

The stone lanterns have protective  barriers. Not only to protect the lanterns but to prevent people from being injured in the rushing crowds.

I like the cross-eyed grin of this girl as she looks at the charm she is holding.

This photo is out of focus and obscured by the crowd, but I like the face that the girl is making too much.

The charms being sold here are miniature rice bales, meant to represent wealth and prosperity.
When the charms are sold, they are attached to a bamboo branch.

Nice pose. Note all of the hair decorations.

The beautiful young women who are staffed to sell the charms are a major attraction for photographers.

These golden hats are a typical feature of the Ebisu festivals.

The stalls selling lucky charms look beautiful at night under the glow of incandescent bulbs.

Dog figures on ema plates at the shrine. The odd design of these plates look very cat-like.

An odd man on a power scooter rolling through the crowds with his falcon.

Depictions of Ebisu.

All of the seven lucky gods.

Rows of lanterns line Ebise Shrine.

Ebisu; the god of Wi-Fi signals?

This logo looks like Stewie from Family Guy.

The area where donations are thrown is under a canopy shaped like huge Japanese umbrella.

The lucky girls of the shrine.

Fish charms being sold. The sea-bream, tai, is a lucky fish that is associated with Ebisu.
The tai is also linked to good luck because the word "tai" is thought to sound like the word "omedetai" which means "congratulations."

Rice bail and gold coin charms that are made to be attached to bamboo branches.

All of the bamboo branches being carried make the scene look like a moving forest.

A nice view of one of the shrine girls.

Bamboo sprigs being given out for free.
Note the instructions that are provided in English.

The shrine always has some young international students working as lucky maidens.

Colorful banana treats.

Colorful daruma dolls being sold.
These artistic daruma were quite expensive, starting at 5000 yen.
Note that the eyes are not painted; when you buy a daruma doll you paint on eye to show that you are working on a goal and you paint in the other eye when you have achieved the goal.

Old charms being collected so that they can be burned later.
These bins were rapidly filled and then rolled away.

Even this young man with his less than conservative dreadlocks and ripped jeans participates in this fun piece of traditional Japanese culture.

Crowds pass through many stalls of charm sellers at the shrine.

A group of girls with thematic kimono.

Charms for sell.
Note the shallow baskets which the plastic figures are housed in; these baskets were used for catching fish in shallow water, because Ebisu is the god of fishermen.

A ring of fish being cooked over an open flame.

An antiques shop was selling all sorts of oddities along the street.

This man was taking his rabbits for a walk through the crowds.

A permanent statue of Ebisu in the Ebisu-bashi shotengai (Ebisu bridge shopping street).

Ebisu theme to the decorations in the Ebisu-bashi shotengai.