福むすめ – Fuku Musume

The English translation of “fuku musume” would be “fortune girls”.  The Imamiya Ebisu Shrine in Osaka receives over 3000 applications per year and picks 45 girls who look like they bring us good luck.  Five of these are international students.  Those chosen will all take part in the shrine’s New Year celebration.

According to OSAKA INFO “Everyone in the merchant city of Osaka knows the Imamiya-Ebisu Jinja Shrine. This shrine, which was founded in 600 by the order of Prince Shotoku, is visited annually by a million people, who pray to Ebessan, a god of business, for commercial prosperity. During the Toka Ebisu Festival, people buy sacred bamboo branches decorated with lucky items in hopes for the success of their businesses. Many visit the shrine during the three days of Jan. 9 through 11, especially on the day of Toka Ebisu (held on the 10th).”

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