A hammer is typically used to pound or smash objects, but the Uchide no Kozuchi (magical hammer) carried by Daikoku, one of the seven gods of fortune, is different: with just one swing, that person can achieve happiness, with all the fortune and the necessities of life (food, clothes, shelter) they would want.
Daikoku is usually portrayed holding the kozuchi, and a grab bag, seated on bales of rice with a smile that is in a way charming. The bag, which is over the shoulder of Daikoku, first appeared in the Japanese myth, 'Inaba no Shirosagi', and is said to hold the luggage of the Yasogamis. It is also described in an old fairy tale that relates how Daikoku was almost burned to death, due to Sanoo's trap, but was saved by mice. Mice then became the guardians of Daikoku.
At first, Daikoku was deified as the god of destruction and good harvest, but as time passed, he became the god of good harvest, food and fortune.
The kozuchi can be seen in other fairytales such as the 'Issun Boshi' ('One-Inch Boy') and the 'Binbogami and Fuku no Kami' ('God of Poverty and God of Fortune') as a hammer that granted any wish.
The Kibitsu Shrine is located in Kibitsu, Okayama Prefecture. It is a guardian shrine for the Bichuu area. The shrine is dedicated to Prince Kibitsuhiko, the model for the famous Japanese folk tale about Momotaro (the Peach Boy).
By the Heian period, the shrine had become known as the Sanbi Ichinomiya ('Shrine Uniting the Three States of Kibitsu') and has been deeply revered by many as a sacred site to pray for success in commerce and for longevity.
The adjoining double gables of the roof of the main building is a characteristic style of the Kibitsu area, and is known as 'Kibitsu zukuri' or 'hiyoku-iromiya zukuri'. Because of this distinctive feature, the shrine is designated as a National Treasure.
There is a 400m-long corridor connecting the main building to the sub shrine, and the view from beside the South Zuijin Gate is overwhelmingly beautiful. The gate is designated a Cultural Treasure by the Prefecture. The hydrangea, peony, and plum gardens inside the shrine precincts are popular among visitors as well. The shrine displays the colorful beauty and contrasts of all four seasons, entertaining the eyes of all who visit.
Yagui Shrine is located at Takatsuka, Okayama City, near the junction of the Chisui and Ashimori rivers. The four rocks of varying sizes in the shrine precincts are related to the folk tale of Momotaro, the Peach Boy.
According to the legend of the Kibitsu Shrine, these rocks are located at the point where two arrows struck each other and fell to the ground. The legend relates that one arrow was shot by Prince Kibitsuhiko, the model for Momotaro, and the other by Onra, the model for the ogre with whom Momotaro fought.
According to the legend of Demon Castle and the shrine's legend, these huge rocks were thrown here by Onra, while nearby bamboos grew from the site where Prince Kibitsuhiko's arrows fell.
Local people love these four granite rocks and the old legends relating to them.
Koiji Beach, one of the beaches on the Noto Peninsula, features white sand and strange rocks that give it a 'feminine' aspect unique to the area.
The romantic name of the beach derives from a sad story of a girl's love for a young man. To enable the man to find her, the girl made a bonfire on the shore at night. Each night they met, but another young man became jealous and made the girl light a bonfire in another place near a hole. When the lover came to find the girl, he fell into the hole and died. In grief, the girl drowned herself in the sea.
Today the beach features a statue of the two lovers sitting at peace together and there is also a lucky bell. Behind these is a red torii gate to a Shinto shrine and Benten Island. The combination of the clear blue sea, white beach and red gate is very beautiful.
On 27 July every year, a fire festival is held on Koiji Beach with bonfires and fire torches that turn the night sky red.