2013 is the Year of the Snake so I thought I would post some pics of that most lucky of all snakes, the White Snake. Long associated with Benzaiten, one of the 7 Lucky Gods of Japan, white snakes have appeared in many stories and legends throughout history, in all probabilty albino mutations of regular snake species, but the trait is not passed on to descendants.
But Iwakuni in Hiroshima is home to the unique Iwakuni White Snake, the only place in the country where they appear and a registered national monument.
They are first recorded as appearing in the 18th century, and are a mutation of the common Japanese rat Snake, Elaphe climocophora.
Best wishes for the coming year to all my readers.