5,000 sprint for title of 'Lucky Man'

HYOGO —

Some 5,000 men burst through the gates of Nishinomiya Shrine in Hyogo Prefecture at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning and raced 230 meters toward the shrine’s main hall with the frontrunners attempting to capture the title of “fuku-otoko” (Lucky Man).

The annual ceremony, which has been held since the Edo period, is associated with Ebisu, a god of prosperous business. The first three participants to reach the main gates are considered Japan’s luckiest men for the year.

The lucky runner who took first place was 21-year-old university student Takashi Suzuki of Senshu University in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. Suzuki moved to Kawasaki after the March 11, 2011 tsunami devastated his hometown of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture. He and two Hyogo men, who placed second and third, were presented with a barrel of sake.

Japan Today

  • 1

    Wakarimasen

    Suzuki moved to Kawasaki after the March 11, 2011 tsunami devastated his hometown of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture

    looks like his luck is changing then.

  • 0

    choiwaruoyaji

    Every year this makes me think of The Verve.

  • 1

    sensei258

    Looks like fun, but kinda pointless if you are not near the front of the pack when the gate opens

  • 1

    DaDude

    Looks like fun, but kinda pointless if you are not near the front of the pack when the gate opens

    Exactly, if only the first few people can become "lucky" or "happy", what is the benefit of being in the back with all of the other thousands of people. By the time #5000 arrives, the winners are already in bed.

  • 0

    sensei258

    I guess you'd be really lucky if you were # 5,000 and everyone in front of you tripped

  • 0

    Lauri Jakku

    I like this :D .. barrel of sake .. how large barrel we are talking about ? if it is little then some party with family is in order .. if it is larger then family and friends :D ..

    I like to read stuff from around the world about the events of the people and so on :D.. this was nice bit of info for me :) ..

  • 0

    Joeintokyo

    I wonder how lucky that one kid who turned out to be, the one who cheated a few years ago by having his friends block the other contestants at the front of the pack so he could win? You would hope Ebisu has punished him for that.

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