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Point of interest: ごえん: 五円 and 御縁

POI
ごえん: 五円 and 御縁 - luck, money and love!
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With the advent of electronic money, and the steady impact of inflation, the
ごえんだま
五円玉
(five yen coin) may have a finite shelf life, but for the last few decades it has been ubiquitous. One of the reasons is that, in addition to representing the smallest useful sum of money, the five yen coin carries additional significance, as a result of the different kanji that can be used to represent the sounds 'go' and 'en'.
When referring to money, we use the word,
ごえん
五円
(five yen). However, ごえん is also the reading of the word 御縁, which means 'fortune' or 'luck' (it is also common to see this as ご縁). As a result, when visiting a temple to make an お
さいせん
賽銭
(offering), it is very common to use a five yen coin, accompanied with the words ご縁がありますように(wishing for luck).
The kanji 縁 means 'affinity', and it is often used in the context of relationships. So the word ご縁 also carries a slightly different meaning - the idea of a relationship with someone. As a result, giving someone a five yen coin is a neat way of saying ご縁がありますように to that person - meaning 'wishing for a good relationship'.

Kanji used in this point of interest

ゴ   いつ-    いつ five   
エン    circle, yen   まる round   
ギョク   たま jewel   
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ゴ   ギョ   honorific prefix   おん-    
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エン   affinity; edge   ふち edge, hem, brim   
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サイ   dice; temple visit
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セン   ぜに money, coins   
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