In the Japanese tradition, regardless of the Shinto or Buddhist religion, there is a unique vision regarding the fulfilling of wishes, which involves doing some symbolic act. In some cases, the evil or the illness is symbolically put inside a doll, which is then cast away on water (Hina nagashi). In other cases, the eye of a Daruma doll is painted, or the wish is simply written on a Ema votive plaque.
Kukurizaru, photographed here at the Yasaka Koshin-do temple in Higashiyama, Kyoto, are spherical talismans made of colorful cloth, representing monkeys with their hands and feet tied to the back. They are symbolizing self control, and the local custom says that in order to get a wish fulfilled, one must give up to another desire. The old desire is symbolically put inside the kukurizaru monkey, thus asking for help from the temple’s deity, the Buddhist guardian Koshin…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: