ニュース & トピックス

留学生的福娘体验  International Student Experience as a Fukumusume  留学生の福娘体験記
International student "Fukumusume" handing over happy bamboo grass


Hello, I’m an international student from China that studies at Kansai University. This year, I had the valuable experience of becoming a “Fukumusume”(=shrine maiden).


Four international students "Fukumusume"



In the Kansai region, January 9, 10 and 11 are known as Toka Ebisu. During this time, I was selected as a Fukumusume of Osaka’s Imamiya Ebisu shrine. This year there were four international students that became Fukumusume. Three of them, including myself, were Chinese and one was German. None of us knew anything about Fukumusume before coming to Japan. However, I am grateful for this valuable experience that not many people get to take part in.




During the 3 days of service, I wore a kimono every day. I could take a break twice a day, each time for only 20 minutes, which was much harder than I expected. But I felt very happy and proud of myself for overcoming such a challenge.

Regarding our role, we would hang charms and trinkets that symbolise commercial prosperity on bamboo brought to us by people who come to worship.



Standing international student "Fukumusume"


At Fukumusume training, it was said that eating and washing with the golden “bird” hat (golden Eboshi) and Chihaya (white shrine maiden kimono) on is strictly prohibited. I was told that Fukumusume are a bridge between Ebisu, the god of business prosperity, and humans. At the time I did not quite understand it, but during my service I was told by one visitor to “choose a lucky charm and attach it. I will leave the fortune of our company in your hands this year.” I realized that I was playing such an important role as a Fukumusume. By responding with a smile from the heart, I felt a sense of accomplishment as a Fukumusume.





I am ever so grateful for this wonderful opportunity that I could experience by studying here in Osaka. I hope to take the lessons learned from this valuable experience with me as I work hard towards realising my dreams.




OGSAN (Osaka Global Student Ambassador Network)




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