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5,000 sprint for title of Lucky Man

23 Comments

Some 5,000 men burst through the gates of Nishinomiya Shrine in Hyogo Prefecture at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning and raced 230 meters toward the shrine's main hall with the frontrunners attempting to capture the title of fuku-otoko (Lucky Man).

It was the first time the annual event was held since 2020 due to the coronavirus. In 2021 and 2022, participants walked instead of running.

The New Year ceremony, which has been held since the Edo period, is associated with Ebisu, a god of prosperous business. The first three participants to reach the main gates are considered Japan's luckiest men for the year.

The lucky runner who took first place was Ryota Uemoto, a 22-year-old baseball player from Kobe, and currently a fourth-year student at the Osaka University of Commerce.

Among the prizes Uemoto received were a barrel of sake and rice.

© Japan Today

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23 Comments
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This is a great race. Better than any marathon or ekiden thing.

1 ( +17 / -16 )

I think that they could spend this time on some productive things than racing through the gates of shrines to get a barrel of sake.

Like racing to work?

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Clearly it's one of those 'Japanese' things where some people train and prepare especially for this event and would shamelessly trample you to better their 'luck'. And if one lands a coveted super-ultra-mega-lucky title, defending it will become life encompassing.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Only the five guys at the very front of the lineup have any chance whatsoever. The other 4,995 fellas should go sit down and have a cup of coffee.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

First time to yoshiwara, it was 1am. I was told... "You are lucky boy."

No need to wake up at 6am.

Changed my life.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Good to see this again in its true form, running and unmasked, now that the Corona virus has passed.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I think someone got lucky behind the shrine

3 ( +5 / -2 )

5,000 running (I.e., huffing and puffing) + no mask wearing = super-duper spreader event.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

And the winner of comment of the day: Speed. Well done sir, or madam (etc).

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Nice tradition! I wonder if the winner did much training in the area? I'm sure he and his buddies enjoyed the sake!

texas A&M -

5,000 running (I.e., huffing and puffing) + no mask wearing = super-duper spreader event.

Sigh. Just let it go for once and try and enjoy the story for what it is.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

It would be nice to hear a bit more about Ryota Uemoto and what he has been doing with all his luck of late?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When is Ryota Uemoto going to put his prize of rice in the rice cooker? Add water? To cook it? Eat it ? And, is he going to wash it down with the sake? While eating the rice ? Or, after eating all the rice ? How did he feel during the race? And after winning the prize of Rice and Saki? Did the prize of Rice and Saki replace all the energy he used in the race to win the Rice and Saki?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Top story? Oh dear

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

So what title do you give to the third guy from the front who trips and gets trampled by 4,996 other guys?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Uemoto received were a barrel of sake and rice

Don't know many 22 year olds that drink sake. He'll probably give it to his dad or grandpa that are good at giving their liver a beating with nightly beer, sake and/or shochu lol

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Groundhog Day.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Very nice that Japanese culture things like that are back..

Clearly it's one of those 'Japanese' things where some people train and prepare especially for this event and would shamelessly trample you to better their 'luck'. And if one lands a coveted super-ultra-mega-lucky title, defending it will become life encompassing.

Their country..

Their culture..

Their customs..

I think that they could spend this time on some productive things than racing through the gates of shrines to get a barrel of sake.

It's once in a year, why the bitter childish comment??..

Top story? Oh dear

Proving again Japan is one of the safest countries to live..

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I love it - this is one of the best motivation to run and try to win

0 ( +1 / -1 )

First of all it’s much more a lottery, not a real race with equal chances for everyone at the starting line. It’s not like that. You only need very much luck to be drawn as member of the first waiting block and a good position within it, nearest to the entrance gate. If you have managed that, you don’t need to be a super fast runner with extraordinary physical strength and running capabilities. You only need good shoes then, and of course a knowledge of the short route and obstacles, and then just being a bit faster than the few guys around that waited together with you near the entrance.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think that they could spend this time on some productive things than racing through the gates of shrines to get a barrel of sake.

I would think they are doing this for spiritual benefit that comes from having a purpose. In what way could they be more productive on a spiritual level than preparation for this tradition?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nice photo, too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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