One of the most popular Japanese customs, common to both Shinto and Buddhist traditions, is the use of good luck charms, omamori. Sold at both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, omamori are so popular in Japan that almost anyone has one in its wallet, in the purse or in the car.
The most common type are the small silk bags you see in my photo, having inside a prayer written on paper or wood. Mamori 「守り」 means “protection", but depending on the prayer, they are intended for good luck, good health, traffic safety, business prosperity, household happiness, entrance exams, pregnancy protection, love, etc.
An interesting fact is that an omamori must not be opened: not only that the opening will be an act of disrespect, but it is said that the charm will loose its powers or even bring bad luck…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: