Ebisu (恵比須, 恵比寿, 夷, 戎), also known as Yebisu or Hiruko (蛭子) or Kotoshiro-nushi-no-kami (事代主神), is the Japanese god of fishermen, good luck and working men, and also the guardian of the health of children. He is one of the Seven Lucky Gods.
Origins as Hiruko[change | edit source]
Ebisu was first named Hiruko, meaning "leech child". He was the first child of Izanagi and Izanami, born without bones (or, in some stories, without arms and legs) because of his mother's mistake in her marriage. Hiruko tried hard to survive but he was thrown to the sea in a boat made out of reeds. He was eventually washed ashore and was cared for by the Ainu people Ebisu Saburo (戎三郎).
Life Story[change | edit source]
The weak child overcame many problems, grew legs, and became the god Ebisu. He remains slightly crippled and deaf, but is still joyful (which is why he has the title, "The Laughing God"). He is often shown wearing a tall hat — the Kazaori Eboshi (風折烏帽子) — holding a fishing rod and a large sea bass.
In Popular Culture[change | edit source]
The brand name Evisu is named after Ebisu.
References[change | edit source]
Mythic Texts and Folktales: