Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Lucky Star twins Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi have secured their own festival in commemoration of their birthday (7th of July), and an event on an impressive scale it is too. Naturally enough, the event takes place in 鷲宮町 / Washimiya, Saitama, and the now apparently given over to Lucky Star 鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine features heavily. Lucky Star Shinto, anyone?

Here is some English commentary on a rather good event report (and plenty of pictures of Lucky Star Shinto, as well as merchandising, in operation):

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Some local enterprises appear to have been given over entirely to Lucky Star, and the occasionally wet weather seems not to have dampened the spirits of pilgrims.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Shinto is not really known for failing to embrace changes in the times, nor an opportunity for revenue generation. So even the shrine participates; the hempen ring (茅輪 / Chinowa) is a sanctified portal for the use of supplicants.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

These are the votive pictures (絵馬 / ema – originally of a horse in case you are wondering about the kanji) offered up at the shrine to ensure the blessings of the gods. As you can see, one the things these supplicants won’t be asking for is talent in illustration or design – they seem rather accomplished.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

The ema have been accumulating at the shrine for some time (they are not just presented at special events); this is just one of six sides to the hanging place, now groaning under the weight of 2,865 of them (a month ago).

Apparently, there was a case of some ema being stolen – insidious blasphemy! Many Miyuki ema were stolen, it is said. Desecrate not the holy places.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

You’ll notice this one is celebrating the OVA.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

Misao – best character in Lucky Star?

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama. Ita-Kites.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama. Ita-Kites.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama. Ita-Kites.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama. Ita-Kites.
Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama. Ita-Kites.

You may be familiar with itasha – well, behold, itatako (ita-kite): the first tournament is held. If this catches on expect kite shops to start opening in Akihabara soon. More on it.

Kagami & Tuskasa Hiiragi’s Birthday Matsuri – Lucky Star Shinto: countless ema are present at鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine in Washimiya, Saitama.

There is an “Ore no Yome wo Sagase!” event/game/treasure hunt (“Hunt for my Bride!”).

I’m afraid I lifted many of the photos as explanation seemed necessary, but please by all means pay a visit to the source: Kaze ni Fukarete. There’s plenty more there. Of particular interest are the details on how the Lucky Star ema are made using a silk screen process (also here and here), in case you fancy making your own, so you may want to take a look at those pages, but the author has been documenting all aspects of the Lucky Star town (I expect calling it this aggravates those locals who aren’t making money hand over fist) for some time now, so there is plenty to interest.


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    14 Comments
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    Comment by Anonymous
    04:37 31/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why can't i live in japan, i want to go!

    Comment by crpibby
    23:40 11/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Random Haruhi kite........WHAT?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:05 26/06/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who drew all those pics, fans in the area? Just how easy is it to meet multiple anime artists or future anime artists in Japan? They all look like they were drawn by the same person, but that can't be possible. o_O

    Also, which would you guys say is the larger population of people that loves lucky star in Japan, little girls or older otaku?

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:07 20/04/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yay Japan~ Yay Nippon~ Yay Tsukasa~ She's so cute. Dondake Tsukasa!!! Truly, they are exceeding my natural imagination...

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:24 14/11/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    yet another reason why I'm going to japan

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:29 15/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    These Japanese hardcore fans leave me breathless, how is one to compete?!

    Comment by fluke
    08:02 09/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you count from the OP picture down, the 10th picture is actually a vector I made and have on several wallpaper sites. I can tell because there is an obvious screw up Tsukasa's hairband that I made.

    Comment by soloista
    11:49 11/07/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I spot a Cirno among the ema. Won't you guys add a share widget for articles? Like, for posting on Facebook?

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    06:57 12/07/2008 # ! Questionable

    A discrete menu has been added to the top of each article - thank you for the suggestion!

    Comment by Furinkan
    20:46 23/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was going to chide you for the use of "discrete", but I guess you could have meant that as well ;)

    Nice find, it's tempting to visit Washinomiya again when I'm there next month.

    Comment by Hirito
    00:40 09/07/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wow they're really leeching the series hard. The plain ema that you buy at the shrine are also quite expensive, which are at 1,000 yen a piece (most other places are about 500 yen only). Hopefully (and most likely) the ema I put up there recently is still there lol.

    I want to go back again and celebrate my Twin's birthday too!!! Miss seeing all the beautiful ema drawings too...

    Comment by Tyciol
    08:38 10/08/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    This makes me definately want to move to Japan.

    Comment by Regis
    07:14 11/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    this makes me definitely NOT want to go to Japan, it freaked me out enough even without all the weird Lucky-star shit... sure, I love the anime just as much as the next person, but this... whoa shit man...

    Comment by 5p.
    22:37 22/11/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    On the Kazeni Fukarete coverage:

    Quote: "First time I've seen girl cosplayers at the shrine outside of an event day. (Seen plenty of male cosplayers on non-event days.)"

    ...orz

    ---

    Is Motegi-san a well-known doujin artist??

    ---

    I find the kite-flying coverage amusing considering the name of the blog.

    ---

    Someone's got a big-ass "VIETNAM" (Overseas Language Study) on their ema next to a pic of Tsukasa. Guess their grades must not be so great.

    ---

    lol Miku and Hayate ema. Looks like the shrine is starting to become more of a "general otaku shrine" rather than a specifically Lucky Star thing.



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