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Updated: March 25, 2019
Famous for its chrysanthemums, Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a long-standing center of the Kanto Tenjin faith among the common people of Edo, as Tokyo was once known. Since 1820, the shrine has hosted a unique Shinto ritual in which bullfinch figurines are exchanged. In Japan, bullfinches are said to invite good fortune.
During the ritual, participants bring their bullfinches from the previous year back to the shrine and pick up new ones. Doing so is believed to bring luck, success and happiness in the new year. Additionally, January 25th is the first "Tenjin-sama" day of the year. These days honor Sugawara-no-Michizane, the scholar to whom Tenjin shrines are dedicated. During these days, traditional Shinto music and dancing are performed as part of a festival called Shogoku. Join the throngs of worshippers in welcoming the new year in a uniquely Japanese way!
HOME > Usokae Shinji (Bullfinch exchange)