March 12, 2007

Advertising in a barrel

In that same Yoyogi park you can find something that looks a bit more traditional (never mind the almost 100 year old Shinto shrine dedicated to the Emperor Meiji). But despite it's naive appearance what this actually is, is an ancient form of advertising. These are sake barrels. They have been sent to the temple (pretty sure the aforementioned Meiji shrine) as an offering to bring good luck. A guide told us they were the first barrel of the batch (and thus the best). The temple then keeps them here (until they get drunken I suppose, Shinto is definitely not anti-sake). All the barrels carry the logo of their brewery very largely, decoratively and plainly. This large archaic billboard probably gets pedestrian traffic in about the hundreds each day (probably a few thousand on weekends).

No wonder it's thought to be good fortune...

(For more, take a look at Google Image Search, it's a pretty common practice)

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