Asakusa Tori no Ichi: Japanese festival to pray for good luckCulture
Tori no Ichi is held at Temple of Tori (Juzaisan Chokoku-ji) in Asakusa, Tokyo or various shrines of Washi (Eagle) and many people come to there to pray for a health, good fortune and good business.Bamboo rakes decorated with lucky charms to enhance business.
What is Tori no Ichi Fair?
Tori no Ichi Fair (open-air market) is a famous annual event in November on the day of the Tori (Rooster) in Chinese calendar and this event has continued to today since the Edo period.
In the Edo period, Tori no Ichi was the fist fair for welcoming New Year. A poet, KIKAKU who was a pupil of the most famous Japanese poet Mastuo Basho, said for Tori no Ichi “Haruwomatsu Kotonohajimeya Tori no Ichi” (Tori no Ichi is a first important event to bring New Year.).
The day of the Tori (Rooster) comes every 12 days in November and generally, the first day of the Tori is most important. However it is said that a fire is likely to take place in the year that the day of the Tori has 3 times.
The Origin of Tori no Ichi Fair “The Harvest Festival of Hanamata Washidaimyojin”
The origin of Tori no Ichi Fair was a fair of Hanamatamura located in a suburb of Edo (today it is Otori Shrine located in Adachi-ku, Tokyo). Its original form was a harvest festival by peasants who thank to Hanamata Washidaimyojin.
The day of the festival, Ujiko(people under protection of the local deity) dedicated a rooster to Hanamata Washidaimyojin and after the festival they went to the most famous temple “Senso-ji”+ in Asakusa and released the collected roosters in front of the temple.
“Charm of Bamboo Rake” & “Special Food”
A special thing on Tori no Ichi was “Bamboo Rake for good luck”. A highly decorated bamboo rake was particular popular as goods to bring happiness and prosperity in business. It is said that to bring happiness for New Year is to change a bigger bamboo rake year by year.
On the other hand, the Temple of Chokoku-ji in Asakusa had sold a small bamboo rake with an ear of bunch rice as a charm. Today this bamboo rake is sold at temples of Tori and other shrines of Washi (Eagle) opening a fair.
There were other popular specialties (foods), “Kashira no Imo (steamed taro)” and “Koganemochi (Japanese rice cake)”. They were poplar and sold to people who hope to be succeeded business and wealth.
Today, only one shop sells “Kashira no Imo” and there is no shop to sell “Koganemochi”. But in place of “Koganemochi”, the Japanese cake called “Kirizansho” is sold in the Asakusa Tori no Ichi.
Asakusa Tori no Ichi
Date：November 8th (Friday) and 20th (Wednesday) 2019
Address: 3-19-6 Senzoku, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0031, Japan
・ 9-minute walk from “Minowa Station” on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
・ A 7-minute walk from Exit 3 of “Iriya Station” on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
・ 8 minutes walk from Tsukuba Express “Asakusa Station”
・ 11 minutes on foot from“Minowabashi Station” on the Toden Arakawa Line
For details, please see this official website.