What is the Seven Gods?

 In our Japan, pilgrimage to the Seven Good Luck Gods is executed as an event on New Year.
 And, official Seven Gods goods might be able to be obtained at each temple/shrine in some Seven Good Luck Gods sacred places.
 In this home page, I explain composition of the Seven Gods, and then introduce pics of the goods obtained at the Seven Good Luck Gods sacred places in Tokyo.

Composition of the Seven Gods
 In general, the gods who composes the Seven Good Luck Gods are Ebisu, Daikokuten, Bishamonten , Benzaiten, Hoteison, Jurojin and Fukurokuju. And the theory of which it started in Muromachi age as folk beliefs is powerfull.
 However, the initial Seven Good Luck Gods composition was not necessarily constant. It is believed that composition of present was established after when become Edo period.
 It is said that shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu had religious service according to the advice of the buddhist Tenkai-Sojo of Kanei-ji temple in Ueno, and then, it have been spreading to the whole country in Japan and have been making to fixation. But as for the circumstances between those, it is not necessarily certain.
 The root of the Seven Good Luck Gods is said the Eight hermits in old China. It is the same rule that one goddess exists though their member compositions are quite different.

Ebisu(for business prosperity)
 He is the only god of domestic production in the Seven Good Luck Gods, who is 3rd child named Hirukonomikoto between Izanaginomikoto and Izanaminomikoto. But also there is a made theory with the foreign countries person who came from the continent. He came to collect beliefs back as a god of commerce though originally he was a god of the big catch.

Daikokuten(for good harvest)
  It is said that he is a incarnation of combat god Shiva of India.   After he transmited to our country via China, he was jointed with Ohkuninushinomikoto, then he was targeted in folk beliefs as god of agriculture which seizes the earth. There is a profit of the better fortune and the property giving too and it is the most familiar in the Seven Good Luck Gods just like Ebisu.

Bishamonten(for preventing misfortune)
  He is a god of India named Tamonten who is a buddha in the Big-four to serve to Taishakuten.  It is assumed that he undertook the protection of the Northern area. And it is assumed that he exclude the disease and the misfortune by strong power of defeating a demon, therefore he is believed by many people.  His empress is Kichijoten who is the god of beauty and wealth, therefore it is said he also bring wealth.

Benzaiten(for study accomplishment)
  At first, Benzaiten as for the only goddess in the Seven Good Luck Gods was the god of river in India called Sarasvati. And then she became the guardian deity of study and art.  She is enshrined at the waterside a lot by this origin.  After she transmitted to Japan, she was confused with Kichijoten, and came to be called the Benzaiten as a god of wealth and the riches giving.

Hoteison(for riches giving)
  He is a Zen priest in the age of the latter-Liang of old China, and it is the only real person in the Seven Good Luck Gods.  It was a person of the bum style which always floated the smile and begged the thing to whoever.   But the another way, it is said too that poor are relieved with riches in his bag, and it is believed as the god of harmonious morality from a chubby figure and features.  It is said he is a incarnation of Buddhist saint.

Jurojin(for long life)
   It is said that he also is a incarnation of the South Pole star same as Fukurokuju though he is made to the incarnation of hermit Shouxing in the age of the Song of old China.  It is assumed that he is symbol of the long life because of taking the black deer along and possessing the peach in his hand.  He has a long head and carry the cane of goosefoot with the scroll, and is growing white beard. Therefore, it is easy to confuse as Fukurokuju.

Fukurokuju(for salary increasing)
  The origin of name of Fukurokuju is happiness(fuku)+salary(roku) +long life(ju), and it is assumed that he is sure to give these three profits.  He is the god of long life of a Chinese taoism, and it is said he is a incarnation of the South Pole star.  Often, he might accompany the white crane and carry the folding fan.  There is a theory that Jurojin is same god with another name.

Other Gods
 Other gods often might be added to the Seven Good Luck Gods , or at times might take the place of one of the members, by details of the genaration.  For instance, Dharma, Kichijoten, Aizenmyoou and Fudomyoou have corresponded to it, furthermore it is said once upon a time Shojo and Fukusuke was it too.  Additionally, all members of the Seven Good Luck Gods might be Inari, racoons, Kappa, frogs or mountains.

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