LOTTERY BOX

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LOTTERY BOX

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An early Japanese iron omikuji box, for use at a temple to select one’s fortune. The hexagonal iron box would have originally held sticks that when shaken by a parishioner would reveal a single stick from the small hole in the top of the box. The stick would assign one of twelve fortunes, from daikichi (great blessing) down to daikyo (great curse), to the parishioner. Shrine visitors often keep good fortunes but tie inauspicious ones to a nearby pine tree. The pine trees popularity originating from the fact the word for pine tree and the verb to wait are homonyms (matsu), and it was thought that the inauspicious fortune would “wait” at the shrine and not accompany the shrine goer home. 
Edo Period (1600-1868)
5 ¼” high x 3” wide 

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