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Increase Your Money By Washing It

Temples & Shrines Kamakura
Increase Your Money By Washing It

Zeniarai has the meaning of “washing money.” The popular shrine has a legend that if you wash your money in the spring water there, then it will multiply. Pray at that spring inside the mysterious cave to increase your financial luck.

The dreams of people who are concerned about money haven’t changed then and haven’t changed now. Zeniarai Benten Ugafuku Shrine, one of Kamakura’s famous sites, is a lucky place where if money is washed in its spring water, then it'll increase by many fold.

The shrine is located 25 minutes away on foot from Kamakura Station. Since the area was long known as an isolated village, it's filled with a spiritual atmosphere inside the cave surrounded by cliffs. It's in that cave that a spring exists where money is placed into a zaru (bamboo basket) and washed in its waters to bring fortune.

This legend began with the institution of a warrior regime at the end of the 12th century, when the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate, Yoritomo Minamoto experienced a spiritual dream. One night in April 1185, an old man appeared at Minamoto’s bedside and identified himself as Ugafuku-no-Kami who lived in a hidden valley to the west. The shogun was told to travel to that area and worship at the spring there upon which the world will be at peace.

As commanded, Minamoto worshiped at the water and prayed for Ugafuku-no-Kami, and soon after an unstable nation settled down into peace. The area was enshrined as a shrine of good fortune. The episode of its good fortune with money began during the 13th century. Tokiyori Hojo who was the ruler at the time washed his money in the spring water and prayed for the prosperity of his entire family which started the legend.

There has long been the Japanese tradition of relating all aspects of time with animals, but it's from the legend of the sixth sign of the zodiac, whose kanji character is read “mi” meaning serpent and from the legend that Minamoto had a dream on the day of the serpent in the month of the serpent in the year of the serpent, that even now many people call “Mi no Hi” as “Hebi no Hi” (Day of the Snake). Moreover, Ugafuku-no-Kami appearing in the dream with the body of a snake with the head of an old man of course strengthens the legend.

To find out whether your dreams come true or not, you have to pray. There are various opinions such as “You will have good luck if you use the washed money as soon as possible” and “Use half and save half,” but it seems that the basic rule is: “Use the washed money without saving it.” It’s a fun experience to wash money at Zeniarai Benten Shrine while feeling that spiritual air of the cave that has been cared for by many people for centuries and having that dream of spending that money all around to then get an even bigger return on it.

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