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Tori-no-Ichi, rooster day festival

In November, Tori-no-Ichi is held every rooster day in all the Otori-jinja shrines of Japan. Since the Edo period, this colourful fair celebrates the coming of winter to bring luck and good business for the year to come.

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The rooster, tori, is one of the 12 zodiac signs, Junishi, along with the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the dog, and the boar. The sign used to be combined with the Jikkan (the ten celestial stems) and applied to each day of the year. As custom has it, Tori-no-Ichi is held every rooster day in November, two or three times depending on the year. In 2017, Tori-no-Ichi took place on November 6, and two more are yet to come on November 18 and 30. The Tori-no-Ichi fair at the Otori-jinja shrine at Taito-ku, Tokyo, close to Asakusa, is the most famous but there are many more all over Japan, including about 30 in Tokyo alone. 

 
 

Tori-no-Ichi is celebrated with markets and fairs in all the Otori-jinja shrines. It’s also sometimes called Otori-sama. Otori-jinja shrines shelder the deity of good fortune and good business. Many worshippers come pray, especially on November’s rooster days when the fairs are on. Stalls sell kumade to "rake prosperity and good fortune". Those little bamboo rakes are brightly decorated with masks and fake ancient gold coins, koban. When a kumadeis sold, the seller and buyer traditionally clap their hands in harmony, it’s tejime. Joyful shouts can be heard at those moments, which makes the atmosphere of the fair even more attractive for the visitors

 
 
 
 

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  • Culture & traditions
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