Ebisu, occasionally written as Yebisu, is the Japanese god of luck and fishermen. He is one of the country’s Seven Gods of Fortune, and unique among the rest in that he’s the only one to have originated from Japan. The other six can all be traced back to Chinese or Hindu influences.
It is said that Ebisu began life as a child who was born without bones. He then overcame many hardships, grew his bones, and rose to godhood. Though he remained deaf and physically handicapped, he is depicted as a mirthful entity. It is for this reason that he is often known as the Laughing God.
We can see in the example of Ebisu the significant relationship that Japan has with the fishing industry. Having long depended upon the sea for much of its food, it can hardly come as any surprise that Japan would want to elevate a fisherman to the level of one of their most important deities. You can experience the fruits of this seafood-centered culture at our Issaquah sushi restaurant.