Each new year in Japan brings the usual round of buying new good luck trinkets and burning the ones from the year before. Call me jaded, but this is obviously good business for the trinket-sellers. This pile of ashes at our local shrine contained this sad little Daruma; cast out, cast off, his brand of luck just 'soooo last year, darling'.
This year, each time I went to a shrine with someone they would spot the details on a poster hanging up of the year in terms of luck: 2009, Year of the Cow [well, the Ox if you live anywhere other than 'kawai culture' Japan]: for those people 40 years-old this year [me]: very bad luck year. Next year? Not-so-bad-luck year.
"Ah, shouganai, ne?" ["Oh well, oh dear, that's the way it is...better give up etc etc"], would usually come the response, as they looked at me, Mr Bad Luck.
My stock response was, is: "Guys, I make my own luck."
Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 AF D