This seems to be the year that the 7 lucky gods are hitting center stage in Japanese marketing ploys. While walking home from a local shrine on New Year's Eve, I saw a poster featuring them. Each individual god is not unusual to see, especially Ebisu, who has his own beer in addition to being placed in front of various establishments. Unless you are on a pilgrimage to the groups of shrines that are all over Japan and house them, you don't tend to see them displayed all together. One of my Facebook friends posted a picture of bean cakes that showed their faces and I found a different variety of said cakes on sale at our local green grocer. These are filled with coarsely mashed sweet red beans. Last year, Ryoma Sakamoto's visage was plastered all over snacks. This year looks like it'll be the 7 lucky gods turn. I guess that all that matters is that the images are royalty free and no one has to pay the descendants any royalties. On that front, a septet of mythical people is a much better deal.