JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

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Image search results - "Usokae"
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The Usokae Festival is held every January at the Kameido Tenmangu (Tenjin) Shrine. "Uso" means bullfinch, and "kae" means to change. The bullfinch is a symbol of good luck, and uso can also mean "lie." People replace their wooden uso dolls believing that the previous year's bad luck was a lie, to be exchanged for good luck in the new year with the new uso doll.
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Bullfinch exchange. The person puts her old bullfinch on the rack and prays.
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People then go to the bullfinch stall on the left of the main worship hall.
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Usokae stall
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Usokae stall. The uosokae dolls come in various sizes, look pretty much the same.
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Usokae stall
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A pair of giant usokae dolls flank the entrance to the main worship hall.
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During the festival, stage performances are held.
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