The God of Fishermen

A few weeks ago I bought an old Japanese rod, a time capsule from my early childhood. I bought it on a whim with no intention of using the rod. I paid more than I should but it was not an investment, it was a reminder of days beside the River Brede.

I was given my rod in the 1960s as a Christmas or birthday present, I can’t remember which. The five pieces could be assembled in different combinations and I spent hours switching the sections around and dreaming of monsters. I always fished with the rod in its longest configuration, the fly rod, because a long rod looked more impressive.

I caught roach and eels from the Haven and Crucian carp from a small pond across the fields. The rod was smashed around the brickwork of Brede Bridge while battling with a giant pike. I didn’t know about giving line and the slipping clutch knob was locked down tight. The rod was replaced with a bright yellow, hollow glass rod which was equally abused but survived to be given away many decades later.

My ‘new’ rod was made in the 1960s by the Ebisu Company Ltd, which was established on 10 August 1954 in Japan. In Japanese mythology Ebisu is one of the seven Gods of Fortune. He is said to be the God of fishermen, working men and good luck, a great combination.


Sapporo Breweries Ltd. was founded in 1876 and is based in Ebisu, Tokyo. The God of fishermen is also the company logo. Ebisu’s festival is celebrated each year on 20 October and it seems fitting to use the rod on Tuesday 20 October and drink a cold Sapporo beer. How lucky can I get ?

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