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Posts tagged ema

Historical, full-size ema

Tenmangu Shrine 太宰府天満宮 giant ema

Giant ema pavilion (絵馬堂) @ Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine (太宰府天満宮)

My retired history professor guide who took me to Dazaifu to check out Tenmangu pointed to the ceiling of this pavilion on the grounds and asked me if I knew what these items were. I did not. He then educated me on the history of the ema that are so common at shrines in Japan.

Currently, there are little wooden plaques (ema) that can be purchased for a few hundred yen to write your wishes on. Long ago, you could make a really large ema and pay a shrine to have your ema hung there. These giant ema at Tenmangu are hundreds of years old and still going strong. The owners, long since dead, have really gotten their money’s worth.

Prayers and wishes

fukuoka shrine 櫛田神社

Kushida Jinja Ema (絵馬)

Watanabe San is hoping for some BIG (ビッグ) things to happen.

Love Ema from Futarasan Shrine (二荒山神社)

Futarasan Shrine 二荒山神社

I’ve posted photos of ema before. This one I saw in Nikko at Futarasan Jinja. Basically, for just a few hundred yen your wishes will come true thanks to the gods of the Futarasan Shrine. The happy couple here is Yuko 裕子 (or possibly Hiroko) and Masanori 正典 (I think). One of them wished for good relations (the heart indicating a romantic relationship I suppose) between the two of them for a long time. For all the reader knows, though, the one may not even know the other exists at this point.

Ema and Colorful Cushions

wooden emotive plaques japanese shrines color silk cushions pillows

Scenes like today’s photo are not hard to find in Japan, but they are especially easy to discover in Kamakura where I took this picture.

Prayers and wishes at the shrine in the snow

Today’s photo is a close up of the ema at Mizu Inari Shrine. A wider view of the same scene can be seen here. Normally I like to browse what people have written. On this cold evening, I took a picture instead to read on my computer screen back in my warm apato.

Some of the prayers/wishes here are for good health, to be fast at math, and to be a good studier. One person wants money. Another wants a home free of sickness, devils (maybe bad luck), and disasters.

Is it impolite to read the wishes of others? I’m not sure.

Ema from all over Japan

I’m not sure if Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo does this every year or if they just did it for the 2010 New Year, but shrines from all over Japan sent their ema to be on display. Today’s photo is just a small part of the hundreds of ema on display. Many, if not most, featured a tiger since 2010 was the year of the tiger.

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