The annual お守り (omamori) cycle

西宮神社 The Ebisu shrine in Nishinomiya

西宮神社 The Ebisu shrine in Nishinomiya

I usually make an annual visit to the 西宮神社 Nishinomiya shrine to pray (donate $) to Ebisu for great business luck in the coming year. Ebisu (transliterated as Yebisu.. ゑびす) is the god of fisherman, luck and the working man. This year a family member is going for me. He's returning the good luck お守り (read = omamori) that I bought in the prior year, and also picking up a new, larger お守り with the budgeted money I've set aside for my annual purchase of good business luck from the temple.  お守り needs to be returned to the temple it came from each year and replaced with newly purchased お守り.  The monks figured out a good recurring revenue model, centuries before the Internet and magazine subscriptions.

My donation never really compares to the big bucks power of some big Japanese companies. Their donations usually include what they make: Beer, sake, etc. And of course lots of money.

At the 西宮神社 Nishinomiya Shrine, there is a particularly big fish each year that you are supposed to affix money to - or better yet, getting money into it's open mouth - which creates good luck. It's usually big. The one in the picture is 250 kilograms and 2.5 meters long.