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5,000 Dash For Luck at Shrine in Hyogo; 19-Year-Old Winner Hopes to Bring Cheer to Earthquake Victims

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Runners compete in the annual fuku otoko (men of fortune) race at Nishinomiya Shrine in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, on Wednesday.

About 5,000 people participated in the ceremonial race, which is held to choose the years’ three “lucky men.” As soon as the main gate opened at 6 a.m., runners took off along the 230-meter approach to the main shrine building.

This year’s top runner was Nozomi Takatani, 19, a first-year student at Otemon Gakuin University. “I hope I can cheer up the victims of the Noto Peninsula Earthquake through my running,” said Takatani.