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Jan 3, 2019
Tamaseseri (lucky ball scrambling) at Hakozaki Shrine, Fukuoka
3rd January, 2019 | at Hakozaki Shrine, Fukuoka Half-naked men scramble for a lucky 8-kg ball in a shower of cold water
Men wearing only loincloths compete for an 8-kg treasure ball (takara-no-tama) 30-cm in diameter which is believed to bring good fortune upon the person who can lift it over his head. The men are divided into the Land Team made up of farmers who mainly work on the land and the Sea Team consisting of fishermen who work at sea. Whether the New Year will bring a rich harvest or a large catch will be determined by which team wins the ball and hands it to the Shinto priest. This is one of the three main festivals of Kyushu. With a history of 500 years, its origins are said to lie in the legend of the dragon god (ryujin) offering two balls to Empress Jingu (170-269).
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