Luck in the Rising Sun

The Japanese have seven gods
who bring them good fortune.
You should know them, if you don’t,
the Shichifukujin.

Ebisu, each fisher’s friend,
ensures a bountiful sea,
and if you cross the ocean’s plain
he grants a safe journey.
In countryside, he guards rice fields
and livestock of the farm.
If you seek prosperity,
he’ll be your lucky charm.
You’ll know him by the carp-like fish
he hangs from rod on right,
or tucked under his curved left arm.
He is a cheerful sight.
He’ll smile on all from dawn to dusk.
He wears a ppinted hat.
He is good luck you can trust–
you can depend on that!

Fortune’s father Daikoku
brings luck to farmers, too,
and if you favor food or wealth,
there’s much that he can do.
He’s dressed in courtly hunting clothes.
His belly is quite round.
He rests himself on bales of rice.
Hear his hammer pound?
A treasure sack slung to his left
is bulging with free time
or rice or cash or earthly bliss.
He’ll promise life sublime!

Benten is goddess of pure luck
and arts and all good things
like love, science and drinking, too.
Pure happiness she brings.
Longevity she promises,
also prosperity,
wisdom in battle and success–
she halts calamity.
Benten, only female god,
carries a mandolin.
She stands or sits on lotus leaf
and rides a white dragon!

Fukurokuju is next.
Stunners are his fame.
He likes to perform miracles
for those who call his name.
You want to have virility?
He’s just the god for you.
He shares his body with Jurojin;
He’s not one god but two!
He wears a long and flowing coat
and leans on walking cane–
on it’s tied a parchment scroll
where world’s wisdom does reign.
He has with him an ancient fan
and wears a scholar’s cap.
A high forehead and long white beard
distinguish this old chap!

Have you heard of Hotei?
Eccentric god and man,
he brings good luck’s abundance
as only Hotei can.
He often stands at entryways
of shops or stores or malls.
He loves to be part of the act
when satisfaction calls.
He laughs a lot and quakes with glee.
His full belly he shakes.
His generosity’s well known.
He always stays awake
and shoulders fan and large bag, too,
filled enough to feed
any soul who’s hungry
Or any child in need!

Jurojin is next in line
a smiling, sage old man.
He carries staff and ancient scroll
containing all life’s plan.
He’s like Fukurokuju.–
white beard and head that’s bald.
He’s flanked by stag, his messenger,
and tortoise when he’s called!

And at the end is Bishamon–
luck for battle or defense.
He’s the god you want around
when anything gets tense.
Because he is of high regard
he carries Treasure Tower.
He protects each law, all peace,
and grants good fortune’s power.
He wears full armor, sword and spear.
His right hand holds a pike
that will destroy your treasure
So best do what he likes!

There you have the seven gods
of fortune and of fate
Call on them in times of need
It never is too late!

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