Origin of the Seven Lucky Gods
The Seven Lucky Gods are worshipped as part of a Japanese belief system derived from a blending of indigenous and Buddhist beliefs, and refers to the seven gods Ebisu, Hotei, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Daikokuten, Jurōjin, and Fukurokuju. The gods originate from various backgrounds, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and the Shinto faith, and if one pays homage to the Seven Lucky Gods, one is protected from the seven misfortunes and will receive the seven blessings of happiness, as described in the Humane King Sutra. Belief in the Seven Lucky Gods dates from the end of Japan’s Muromachi period, was widespread among the people of the Edo period, and has continued into the present day.
- * Note: The stanza referring to the seven misfortunes and the seven blessings of happiness describes the concept of tenkaifuku, that of your misfortunes being immediately eliminated and replaced with abundant happiness. Faith in the Seven Gods of Happiness grew out of this concept. The seven great misfortunes of the world (unusual events involving the sun or moon, unusual events involving the stars, wind and storm damage, water damage or flooding, fire, drought, and theft) are eliminated at once, and replaced with the seven blessings of happiness (long life, good fortune, popularity, purity, authority, love and respect, and abundance). That is, term tenkaifuku describes putting aside your troubles and calling forth happiness.
About the Seven Lucky Gods G-SHOCK models
Toshikazu Nozaka, a particularly active skateboarder and artist, has designed both the watch and the packaging of the Seven Lucky Gods model from G-SHOCK.
The artwork on the packaging incorporates the Japanese characters that spell out the words Shichi-fuku-jin kodakara asobi. The kodakara asobi part of this message is a subject taken up by various artists in the world of ukiyo-e and color woodblock prints dating from the latter years of the Edo period.
Based on his admiration and respect for the pioneers that have come before him, and as an artist of the present time, Nozaka has created art incorporating both the Seven Lucky Gods and seven aspects of today’s culture: skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, BMX biking, breakdancing, freestyle football, and DJing. His methods draw from the tradition of kodara asobi that has been passed down from his predecessors, and he has created a work of art for the modern era and made it a part of G-SHOCK.