Tomikuji (lottery in the Edo period) (富籤)

Tomikuji also called Tomitsuki is a way to collect fund for mutual aids and a kind of lottery that is said to be the origin of takarakuji and also a gamble. It still remains as tomie of temples and shrines or fukubiki of shopping street.

Lottery tickets were sold and a winning ticket was determined by pricking a wooden plate with a drill and winners got prize money. The distribution source received the difference calculated by subtracting prize money and expenses from sales of lottery tickets.

Since the Kyoho era, mainly temples and shrines were allowed to distribute tomikuji and received offering as Myoga (one of the taxes paid to bakufu and the clan for the license of business) from those who got a large sum of prize money other than the income.

Tomikuji was distributed mainly for jisha fushin (Buddhist practitioners making effort for construction of temples and shrines), but during the war, kachifuda was distributed to collect money for the war. Also it remains as takarakuji presently which collects money for public mutual aids.

How to draw
First, as many numbered wooden plates as Tomikuji are put in a large box. Then, rotate the box and put in a drill from a hole on the side panel, and prick a wooden plate to determine a winning number. An owner of the winning lottery ticket received a predetermined amount of money.

How to divide
There were some ways of winning which got complex gradually.

There were major winning ways from 1 to 100. In other words, it was pricked 100 times with a drill and the prize money was 300 ryo for the first, 10 ryo for every 5th, 20 ryo for every 10th, 200 ryo for the 50th and 1000 ryo for the 100th.

Those 21 times were called fushi. Among the rest times except fushi (called hira), at some predetermined numbers of times called aiai, a small amount of prize money were given sometimes. At the numbers before and after fushi some amount of prize money were given, which was called ryosode. Also at sode, numbers next to ryosode, a small amount of prize money was given sometimes.

When too many tickets were distributed, numbers were classified into major categories such as shochikubai (pine, bamboo and plum trees), shunkashuto (spring, summer, autumn and winter), kachofugetsu (flower, bird, wind and moon) or Ichi-fuji, ni-taka, san-nasubi (Mt. Fuji, a hawk or an eggplant), five seasonal festivals, the seven gods of good fortune, the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac etc., and then put numbers on them – for example, if No. 2353 of pine tree won, the same numbers of bamboo and plum trees were also given some amount of prize money. This system was called Shirushichigai-aiban (different marks with a same number).

In this case, if ryosode was added, 300 plates of each mark would win regardless of the amount and those sub winnings were called hana (flower). There was also a refund of ticket fee called motogaeshi. For example, when there were 999 people of the numbers of 3000, the rest of people except a winner No. 3300 were paid back the principal. Also there was a way to pay back to people of the numbers of tsukitome.

Winners didn't receive all of the prize money, if a winner got tsukitome 1000 ryo, he gave 100 ryo to the distributer as a repair fee and 100 ryo to ticket seller and also was taken 40 – 50 ryo as miscellaneous expense, so the rest was about 700 ryo. It was same for winners of hira.

How to sell and buy
Distribution sources made thousands or several tens of thousands of lottery tickets and put numbers on them. There was a drawing on a date set previously.

If a ticket seller bought a ticket for silver of 12 monme (a unit of weight) from a distribution source, the ticket seller sold it for 13 – 14 monme including a commission. A fixed price was determined at the time of distribution to declare the authorities, but when ticket sellers sold them to people, the prices went up and down according to popularities at each time.

It was possible for one person to buy several tickets or for several people to buy one ticket. In case the latter called warifuda (a divided ticket), an actual ticket was held by an agent and purchasers were given temporal tickets. In case of a divided ticket in half, the prize money was also a half. A ticket divided by four people was called yoninwari.

It seems that it was already distributed in the Kanei era in Kyoto and because there was a record prohibiting it in a law for merchants and artisans in June, 1692, it was probably popular at that time. The peak of its popularity was around the Bunka and Bunsei era.

Tomikuji was developed from tanomoshi (a mutual credit association) and especially from torinoki mujin, because tanomoshi had only a few sponsors and limited amount of prize money, it couldn't satisfy people's speculative spirits. Therefore tomikuji which had only one timedebts and credits relationship with a large sum of dividend was developed.

It was called tomie as a New Year's event wishing good luck. Originally people dedicated a wooden plate with ones name and there was a drawing by pricking a plate with a drill. Originally a winner got only an Omamori (a personal amulet), but later money was also given and it was developed into a gamble to collect funds.

Responses of the bakufu
The system seemed to fit well with the times and became very popular, so the bakufu issued interdicts repeatedly. Since the Kyoho era, tomikuji was distributed mainly for repair expenses of shrines and temples, so they applied to jisha-bugyo (magistrate of temples and shrines) to get permission.

The area of Tomikuji was restricted in three places of Edo, Kyoto, Osaka by Sadanobu MATSUDAIRA and also the frequency was restricted from every month to 3 times a year. However at the peak in the Bunka and Bunsei era, it was allowed to be distributed widely and in 1826 the bakufu permitted it in other areas out of Sampu, the Three Urban Prefectures, and 4 times a year and increased the number of items to 15 items a month, total 45 items. Later in 1842, distribution of tsukitomi was prohibited completely by Tadakuni MIZUNO.

Characteristics in Kansai region
In Keihan, some ticket sellers places a vertical large flag with winning numbers of ataritomi and even shops without any winning number placed a imitated flag.

Daizuke was described in "Morisadamanko (magazines about manners and customs published in the latter period of Edo era)" that on the day of tomikuji drawing, there were some people who sold pieces of papers with numbers running and calling out 'ohanasi, ohanashi' to make a bet on winning number of tomikuji.

Kagetomi written in laws for merchants and artisans refers to that.

Distribution sources
Since the monzeki (head priest of temple formerly led by founder of sect) of Ninna-ji Temple requested it to the bakufu in 1730 and tomikuji was allowed for the first time in Edo Gokoku-ji Temple for three years, it was distributed in many shrines and termples. From 1804 to 1817, it was distributed at 20 – 30 places only in Edo. Among those places, Yanaka Kanno-ji Temple, Meguro Fudo, Yushima tenjin were called Edo no Santomi (three major tomikuji) and famous. The peak was in the Bunka and Bunsei era.

Shrines and temples which were allowed tsukitomi, distributed tomikuji every month or several times in a year and got favourable revenues.

Law and gamble
Presently in Article 187 of the criminal law, 'tomikuji' remains as a legal term. Tomikuji forms the basis of the concept and scheme of law concerning gable, stock, takarakuji and law for premiums.

Rakugo (comic story-telling)
Tomikuji as subjects of rakugo
Tomikyu (Kyuzo's Lottery)
Mizuya no Tomi
Yadoya no Tomi (Lottery and Innkeeper)

[Original Japanese]