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Woman and Ebisu with Umbrella

 The Story


Woman and Ebisu with Umbrella by Utagawa Toyohiro

Japan: early 19th century, Woodblock print

This woodblock print depicts a woman with Ebisu, the god of fishing, luck, and working men. One of the Seven Gods of Fortune, he is often depicted carrying a large red sea bream, which is a type of fish. Originally named “Hiruko,” meaning “leech child,” Ebisu was born without bones and was cast to sea by his family.  He eventually washed ashore and his body was able to grow bones, overcoming many hardships along the way. All of the other gods of fortune originated from areas outside of Japan, with the exception of Ebisu.


Q: What do the other six gods of fortune look like?

A:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yoshitoshi_The_Seven_Lucky_Gods.jpg