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Photo Journal: Lucky voyage

(Mainichi/Shohei Kawamura)

Treasure ships for the Seven Deities of Good Fortune are prepared by shrine maidens on Dec. 25, 2018, ahead of a traditional New Year's event at Shirahige Shrine in Tokyo's Sumida Ward. At the event from Jan. 1 through 7, people visit six locations including a garden, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in the ward dedicated to the seven deities, to collect dolls representing each of the gods and put them on the treasure ship. It's believed that displaying the collection in one's house will bring good fortune. The event is said to be more than 200 years old. The Seven Deities of Good Fortune is a popular piece of folk culture in Japan, and they are often portrayed as being on board the treasure ship. There are many shrines and temples nationwide on pilgrimage routes to visit the seven gods.

    (Japanese original by Shohei Kawamura, Tokyo Bureau)

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