Ebi (crayfish/lobster)

Ebi are longevity symbols. The crayfish’s body is bent double and suggests the body of someone who has lived a long time. They are a traditional New Year’s offering to the gods. When offered to the gods in pairs by couples wishing to marry, they take on the significance of Izanagi and Izanami no Mikoto, the primordial husband and wife who were the parents of the islands of Japan and many of the gods (kami) who inhabit the islands.

Copyright 2006 Jeffrey Krauss and Ann Marie Moeller