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Japanese culture

Learn about Japanese culture from this Japanese language blog by the JOI's professional Japanese teachers.

Posted by on in Japanese culture

Shrine festivals in Japan

Many of the festivals that are famous in Japan are held in Shinto shrines. These festivals are usually held annually and many have meanings related to good forune.

In this blog, from Japanese teacher Shiomi, she introduces one of the most celebrated festivals. The Toka Ebisu festival is held in many places around Japan and celebrates Ebisu, the God of Good Fortune.

Please read the blog and learn Japanese here for free. And listen to the video to practice your Japanese listening.

Ebisu festival




この神社では、毎年1月8日に大きなマグロが飾られます。「 招福マグロ」と呼ばれ、このマグロの頭や背中にお金を貼り付けると「お金が身につく」と言われています。マグロにびっしり貼り付けられた 硬貨は、まるで魚のうろこのように見えます。


1月10日の早朝には、たくさんの人が門の前に集まって、朝6時の 開門と同時に 本殿に向かって走り出します。早く到着した順に、1番から3番までが、その年の「 福男」 に 認定されて、いろいろな賞品をもらえるのです。


商売繁盛、家内安全、開運招福など、あらゆる 招くとされている、「 福笹」を買いに遠くから来る人もたくさんいます。



To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.



この神社(じんじゃ)では、毎年(まいとし)1月8日(いちがつようか)に大(おお)きなマグロが飾(かざ)られます。「 招福(しょうふく)マグロ」と呼(よ)ばれ、このマグロの頭(あたま)や背中(せなか)にお金(かね)を貼(は)り付(つ)けると「お金(かね)が身(み)につく」と言(い)われています。マグロにびっしり貼(は)り付(つ)けられた 硬貨(こうか)は、まるで魚(さかな)の うろこのように見(み)えます。

1月10日(いちがつとうか)の早朝(そうちょう)には、たくさんの人(ひと)が門(もん)の前(まえ)に集(あつ)まって、朝6時(あさろくじ)の 開門(かいもん)と同時(どうじ)に 本殿(ほんでん)に向(む)かって走(はし)り出(だ)します。早(はや)く到着(とうちゃく)した順(じゅん)に、1番(ばん)から3番(ばん)までが、その年(とし)の「 福男(ふくおとこ)」 に 認定(にんてい)されて、いろいろな賞品(しょうひん)をもらえるのです。

商売繁盛(しょうばいはんじょう)、家内安全(かないあんぜん)、開運招福(かいうんしょうふく)など、あらゆる 福(ふく)招(まね)くとされている、「 福笹(ふくささ)」を買(か)いに遠(とお)くから来(く)る人(ひと)もたくさんいます。


Ebisu festival

There is well-known Nishinomiya shrine which is also called “Ebessan”, near my house. Every year on January 8th there is a large tuna displayed at this shrine. It is known as the “good luck tuna”, and if you stick some money on the tuna's head or back, it said that “you will acquire money”. The coins that are tightly stuck to the tuna look just like fish scales.

On January 10th early in the morning, many people gather in front of the shrine gates, at 6 am when they open the gates, they ran towards the shrine chamber. The fastest to arrive in order from the first person to the third person get certified as “the fortunate man” and receive various prizes.

Many people also come from far away to buy the lucky bamboo branches which bring all kinds of good fortune like a prosperous business, peace and prosperity in the household and better fortune and happiness. Here is wishing you a good 2018.

招福(しょうふく):good luck charm; something that encourages or invites good luck

硬貨(こうか):hard money; coin


開門(かいもん):opening of gate

本殿(ほんでん):shrine chamber

福男(ふくおとこ):fortunate man

認定される(にんていされる):get certified

商売繁盛(しょうばいはんじょう):prosperous business

家内安全(かないあんぜん):peace and prosperity in the household

開運招福(かいうんしょうふく):better fortune and happiness

福(ふく): good fortune

招(まね)く:invite, bring

福笹(ふくささ):lucky bamboo branch (sold during the Toka Ebisu festival in early January)


Hajimemashite everyone,My name is Kyoko Shiomi.
I’m originally from Kobe, Hyogo prefecture. Kobe is a beautiful city that is surrounded by the sea and mountains. Himeji castle is located in Hyogo prefecture and it is the largest and the most beautiful castle in Japan. It has also been registered as a World Heritage Site.

There are many other attractive places in Japan. I would like to teach not only language, but also introduce Japanese culture and tourist spots, if you are interested. I used to live in Tokyo and London and work with people from many different parts of the world. Let´s talk a lot in Japanese and enjoy learning together! Looking forward to meeting you soon in the classroom.

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