God of fortune statue recovered from sea in Japan

A statue of a Japanese god of fortune has been recovered from the sea off the northeastern city of Kesennuma. It was swept away by the 2011 tsunami.

People in the coastal city in Miyagi Prefecture have been worshipping the statue of Ebisu since the original version was erected on a cape in 1932. The god represents prosperity and fortune. People pray to it to attract a good catch of fish.

Last November, construction workers found the statue by chance on the seabed about 25 meters from the shore.

On Tuesday, divers placed a net around it before a crane lifted it out of the water from a depth of five meters.

The copper figure stands about 1.5 meters high and has survived largely free of corrosion. A fishing rod on its right hand was broken.

The chief priest of Isuzu Shrine, which manages the statue, expressed his pleasure at the recovery and said he hopes that people will continue to worship it. The statue of Ebisu will be placed at the shrine to give visitors a chance to see it.