Somehow, I am an Omamori (Amulet) Collector

When you visit Shinto Shrine and Buddhist temples, you can find they are selling various kinds of Omamori (Amulets) at the booths in front of their main buildings. Each shrine and temple have usually their strengths and themes and are providing their own amulets such as exorcism, safety traffic, better fortune, good health, marriage & good relationships, passing entrance examination for school, successful business according to their features.

I have been to hot spring resorts all over the Japan with my Onsen friends for recent years and one of buddies is a senior priest in a Shinto shrine. It is customary events to visit to local shrines when we stayed in hot spring resorts. Whenever we visit to there, I got one amulet for myself. Especially, at local shrines and temples, you can find relatively unique ones. So, I will introduce you some of them as well as the ones at shrines/ temples in Tokyo and nearby city.

“Kachi Mamori” at Zojoji Temple in Tokyo

“Kachi Mamori” means for “Winning”. Zojoji Temple is one of power spots in Tokyo and has a deep connection with Shogun Tokugawa family, which there are some graves of the family there. The temple has worshiped and been a symbol of winning and exorcism since them. If you want to attract strong luck as Shogun Tokugawa, the amulet is a must-get item.

“Masaru Mamori” at Hie Jinja Shrine in Tokyo

Hie Jinja Shrine locates in the center of business district in Akasaka, Tokyo. “Masaru Mamori” is also an amulet for winning and exorcism, which means “A devil goes away” and “Beat anything”. The appearance of amulet is a monkey which is its divine messenger. My own one is a white color, but you can get the red one, as well. They are providing other lucky items of monkey’s shape.

“Katana Mamori” at Tsurugaoka Hashimangu in Kamakura

The amulet has a sword in the transparent case, which means cutting off the bad fortune that happens to yourself. Recently, people who have suffered from serious illness get the amulet for success of their operations. I also visited the Shrine and got it for my mom with a cancer operation last year.

“Meoto Mamori” at Tsubaki Ookamiyashiro Shrine (Tsubaki Grand Shrine) in Mie prefecture

As you can see, the amulet is for a newlywed couple for keeping a good relationship forever. The design is a Japanese traditional wedding costume of bride and bridegroom. When I got married with my husband some years ago, my Onsen buddies gave us as wedding gift, which was so heartwarming and I was very impressed. FYI, Tsubaki Ookamiyashiro Shrine has a American brunch in Washington State, however, they don’t provide “Meoto Mamori” there and you can get it ONLY in Japan

“Hada Mamori” at Hakuto Jinja Shrine in Tottori prefecture

Hakuto Jinja locates in Tottri prefecture which has a famous sand dune and its divine messenger is a rabbit. (Our country is Polytheism and there are so many animal and nature gods such as mountain, forest, river, and sea) The shrine is famous for keeping healthy skin as well as inviting good relationship and happy marriage based on the myth which the white rabbit cured scars on the body. As I have suffered from chronic skin disorder since my childhood and haven’t cured yet, I got the amulet, “Hada Mamori”, for myself without hesitation.

“Nankan Toppa Mamori” at Ataka Sumiyoshi Jinja Shrine in Ishikawa prefecture

“Nankan Toppa” means “breaking through the biggest difficulties”. The checking station called “Seki” in ancient time used to have in the shrine, which is famous historical story, “Kanjincho” in Kamakura era. (“Kanjicho” is one of the most popular plays in the modern kabuki repertory now.) “Seki” was like an immigration office between borders in modern times and it was sometimes hard for Japanese warriors to pass there without asking any penalties. So that, the Shrine is the only place to provide the “Nankan Toppa” amulet in Japan and people who prefer to overcome some difficulties buy it.

What do you think about these unique amulets? They are almost half of my collections and I am decorating them on special places in my apartment. Why don’t you check the strengths and themes of shrines / temples before you visit, and get amulets as souvenirs according to your wish?

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