Welcome to Grace Tsubaki’s gen katsugi!
Hello, everyone, this is me, Grace Tsubaki. How are you all doing?
In November, there is one traditional festival to another related to harvest. Among them, there is one of my favorite. Today, we are going to talk about the lousy and extravagant “Market of Rooster”.
What Is Market of Rooster and When and Where Is It?
You may have heard about the Chinese year system where one of twelve animals is given to each year and the cycle repeats itself every twelve years. However, the same twelve animals can be given to months, days or hours.
Market of Rooster is the festival held on the rooster day of the rooster month. Every year, it can be held on different days but usually, November has two rooster days, therefore, we have the first rooster and second rooster.
Otori Shrine’s Market of Rooster
The Market of Rooster held at Otori Shrine in Asakusa of Tokyo is very famous often brought up by media.
The origin of Market of Rooster can be traced to many different sources. One says that back in ancient days when Yamato Takeru, one of Japan’s legendary conquerer, has taken on the conquest of the eastern part of Japan, he celebrated the victory by holding up the rake in front of this shrine and that was on the rooster day of November. The shrine made the day into its celebration day and it has now become Market of Rooster.
Market of Rooster begins with loud beats of the drum and is held for 24 hours. There are people that line up to listen to the drum for gen katsugi.
[2019 Rooster Day]
8th Nov (first rooster) / 20th Nov (second rooster)
Entire Rooster Day (24 hours)
[Three Big Markets of Rooster in Kanto Area]
Otori Shrine (Asakusa), Hanazono Shrine (Shinjuku), Okunidama Shrine (Fuchu)
Please visit websites of respective shrines for more information.
Market of Rooster and Rake – Gen Katsugi
The biggest attraction of Market of Rooster are rakes. They are different from practical ones and are rather for good luck. Rakes are the origin of gen katsugi, therefore, tonnes of people come to get one for themselves.
Rakes are, for their similarities with eagle’s nails that won’t let their prey go as well as for its actual purpose raking things like leaves, meant to rake good luck. People buy them in order to wish them and their families good luck.
Buy a Rake
1. How to Get a Lucky Rake – Bargain
Set Your Budget
At first glance, it may look like the bigger the price is the more you are likely to attract more fortune. However, it is better to start with something small and make it bigger and bigger over time.
Smaller ones go from 1,000 yen. For more expensive ones, you can ask them to put your nametag on it. You should try to find a shop that can do that.
Find a Shop You Like
You may be overwhelmed by the number of people and shops but follow your instinct and pick your favorite. That’s better for your fortune.
Pick Your Decoration
You can decorate your rake with a variety of different decorations.
What you may see often is bargaining. It is one of the biggest attractions of Market of Rooster and is something shopowners are looking forward too.
Also, keep in mind that there is a custom where you leave the same amount of your tip as your discount.
2. How to Take Home Your Rake
As long as you are in the territory of a shrine, you should hold your rake high up in the air in order to rake as much luck as possible while there. Even if it’s small, you can attract so much fortune.
3. How to Place Your Rake
In order to rake as much fortune as possible, make sure to place your rake at the entrance. You should place it towards the entrance and somewhere higher than your head. If your entrance isn’t an option, place it where people gather like your living room and make sure it is facing the south or east and higher than your head. Avoid placing it towards the north.
4. Return Your Rake
Once you get a rake, don’t forget to return it at the Market of Rooster next year. There is usually a place for you to return your rake at the shrine. If it is difficult for you, wrap it in a white piece of paper and put it out as garbage.
Have a Great New Year
What you often hear a lot at Market of Rooster is the phrase “yoi otoshio which translates to have a great new year. It makes us feel the year is almost over.
There is a little more than one month left to 2019. Please warm yourself up as the days get colder and colder.
We will talk more in next month’s gen katsugi.