December 15, 2017

Heart-shaped Ema for Good Matches

Matsuo-taisha Shrine, Nishikyō-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100
松尾大社(京都市西京区嵐山宮町)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Ema (絵馬) are small wooden plaques, common to Japan, in which Shinto and Buddhist worshippers write prayers or wishes. The ema are left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (神, spirits or gods) are believed to receive them. Typically 15 cm wide and 9 cm high, they often carry images or are shaped like animals, or symbols from the zodiac, Shinto, or the particular shrine or temple. In ancient times people would donate horses to the shrines for good favor; over time this was transferred to a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse, and later still to the various wooden plaques sold today for the same purpose. Once inscribed with a wish, Ema are hung at the shrine until they are ritually burned at special events, symbolic of the liberation of the wish from the writer. (Read more...)

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