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Three meters above my head, the rectangular offering box of Motonosumi Inari Shrine seems impossibly out of my reach. For the 23rd time, I wind back my arm and attempt to lob my chosen donation between the narrow slats. For the 23rd time, the coin takes on a trajectory I’m certain I didn’t intend … and soars over the torii gate where the box balances and into the road.

“There’s probably a time limit to the luck, you know,” my husband mumbles from somewhere behind me. He, of course, launched his lucky coin into the offering box on the third or fourth try.

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