7 Ingredients for the 7 Gods of Fortune
It is also said to be good luck to use seven ingredients to prepare ehomaki, in sync with the seven gods of fortune in Japanese folklore. Apparently, good luck will come about by rolling the ingredients into the sushi. It is also served whole, without cutting into pieces, so that “relationships are not cut off.”
To be related to the Seven Deities of Good Fortune called Shichifukujin, seven fillings are traditionally rolled in a sushi roll. For example, simmered shiitake mushrooms and kanpyo (dried gourd), cucumber, rolled omelet (tamagoyaki), eels, sakura denbu (sweet fish powder), and seasoned koyadofu (freeze-dried tofu) are used. These ingredients represent good health, happiness, and prosperity, and rolling the fillings means good fortune.
Other potential ingredients include roast beef, thick omelet, cooked sansho (Japanese pepper), smoked scallops, seared spear squid, spiced cod roe, and cooked shiitake mushrooms.
Usually, sushi rolls are sliced into bite-sized pieces. But fortune rolls aren't sliced since slicing indicates cutting good fortune. When eating fortune rolls, people face the good fortune direction of the year (eho) and make wishes. The good fortune direction is specified for each year according to the way of yin and yang, the esoteric cosmology based on ancient Chinese philosophy where good and bad luck for that particular year is interpreted by observing natural phenomena.
Tradition states that you have to eat the sushi roll uncut, in one continuous go, in complete silence. It gives you time to contemplate your thoughts, or at the very least, quiet down the noise of modern life. The only sound you will hear is the happy munch, munch, of sushi rolls - a few moments of peaceful contemplation.