Highlights of Japan's 'Hozuki Ichi' Ground Cherry Fair (8 images)

The Ground Cherry Fair, known as "Hozuki-Ichi," is celebrated at the Sensouji Temple in Tokyo on Tuesday. Hundreds of years ago, Japanese people believed swallowing a ground cherry with water could stop chronic disease. Photos by Keizo Mori/UPI
Updated: July 10, 2018 at 2:54 PM
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A vendor sells pots of ground cherry. Over 100 stalls sell the cherries and other souvenirs around the temple.
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According to legend, paying respects to the goddess of mercy, the bodhisattva Kannon, on Shiman-rokusen-nichi on July 10, the blessings received from those prayers equal 46,000 such visits on any other day.
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The ground cherries looks like a red paper lanterns and are also called Chinese lantern plants. Their scientific name is Physalis alkekengi.
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"Hozukitranslates to ground lantern and “Ichi” means outside market.
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The festival started at the Atago Shrine in the Minato area of Tokyo, but eventually the festival at the Sensoji Temple eclipsed it in size.
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The cherries have been used for medicinal purposes since the 1600s and were said to have cured chronic illnesses.
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A customer checks pots of ground cherry.
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