A large weathered trough on rotting feet holds its place outside one of the shrine buildings at Matsuo Taisha in Kyoto. Hundreds of discarded gomagi lie in a dishevelled nest.
It seems unfit for these formerly treasured strips of wood to be tossed without care, but they have served their purpose. These signs of insurance are renewed as needed for family or business safety, prosperity, health, fortune and success.
Shrine masters will eventually burn the sticks, ending another cycle.
Have you bought a token of good luck in Japan or elsewhere?