Mannenbashi means “10,000 years bridge”; according to some legends turtles live 10,000 years (and cranes live 1,000 years). A popular Buddhist ritual in Edo (historic Tokyo) was to capture living things, such as birds and turtles, and free them. It took place on August 15 and was called hojoe. That day, bird and turtle vendors would show up around ponds and riversides to meet the demand. Mannenbashi was a popular place for these sales as both turtles and the bridge were associated with longevity. The turtle in this picture was most likely being used for this ritual.
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