|Ebisu, Japanese God Of Prosperity and Good Fortune
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|In a nation obsessed with fish, Ebisu is not unexpectedly one of the most popular of the "Seven Lucky Gods" of good fortune appearing in Japanese mythology and folklore. Ebisu is the only deity among the seven gods to have originated in Japan, whereas the other 6 have Chinese origins.
Ebisu has come to symbolize business prosperity for merchants in all trades and success to people in any occupation over the years, along with the traditional fortunes of safe sailing and plentiful fishing.
Ebisu, as he is seen here, is often depicted wearing formal court garments of the mid-1500s, carrying a fishing rod in his right hand and a recently caught red snapper fish. He also portrayed wearing a pointed hat folded in the middle, which was worn by attendants of the imperial court of old Japan.
January and October each year, many Japanese communities celebrate the Ebisu Festival. Since Ebisu is the God of Fair Dealing, local merchants began offering bargain sales as a penance and apology to this god. The Festival's tradition originated sometime in the early Edo period (after 1603) as a way to alleviate the guilty conscience of merchants who bought cheap and sold high.
Due of Ebisu's Japanese origin and country wide popularity, he is often depicted or parodied in commercial logos and advertisements and a wide range of media, from artwork to costumed impersonations at local festivals.
One of the most widely recognized Ebisu product logos is Yebisu (alternative name) beer as seen in the photo to the right, which was first brewed in 1890.
Note his large ear lobes...........Ebisu reinforces the Japanese old-age belief that individuals with large ear lobes will certainly be favored by luck and fortune.