Shrines, temples, and other places of worship are the backbone of any culture. In Japan, temples and shrines have some things known as omamori, which are good luck charms. These trinkets are used to raise funds for the shrine or temple, but they also have significant use.
If you have entered a place of worship in Japan and wondered why everyone gathers at omamori stalls, here is everything you need to know about it.
Omamori Charm Explained
There are endless options for omamori in temple and shrine booths and stalls. You will find these charms hanging on the stand, sorted into small boxes, and much more. Loosely translated, the word omamori means talisman or amulet.
The primary aim of the omamori is to protect and guide the person who has it. You can put the omamori in your wallet, bag, pockets, etc. Inside the omamori, there is always a little prayer to protect and guide the individual.
While there are endless forms of omamori in a temple or shrine, the most common ones you will find are a simple cloth packet that is hung on a string. Of course, the cloth packet has a special prayer inside for the buyer.
How Did Omamori Come To Being In Japanese Culture?
It was Buddhism and Shintoism that enhanced the popularity of omamori in Japan. That is because the priests thought of putting the strength and power of gods into small blessings that everyone could carry. The idea was to keep people motivated and safe from harm.
However, the primary purpose of omamori was to keep evil spirits at bay and to protect people from bad experiences. The tradition was adopted by Japanese culture in the seventeenth century as Buddhist shrines and temples began selling these protection amulets. At first, omamori was in the form of a wooden box with a prayer inside.
Of course, as time passed by, there have been many creative ways to give omamori to people. These include many new forms of amulets and talismans that people can easily carry in their pockets for protection.
Top Common Omamori You Will See Everywhere In Japan
Here are some of the most common omamori you will see in every Japanese shrine and culture:
1.Success Omamori (Kachimamori)
The success omamori is one of the most common talismans as almost everyone looks for it. You will find it at every shrine and temple all over Japan. The talisman promises to help the person channel their energy into one goal and guarantees it will happen.
So, if you have a goal in life that you want to attain and need some help with it, then you will do well with a success omamori. The only way to maximize the power of the omamori is to focus on one goal. Once you do, there will be no gap between you and your success.
2.Protection From Evil (Yakuyoke)
Initially, the omamori was created to protect people from evil spirits and bad experiences. Even now, protection from evil omamori is the most common in Japan. The primary aim of this talisman is to help the person avoid any bad experiences, events, and consequences.
The talisman will also help you avoid any experiences that might hinder your success. If you feel that luck is not on your side and bad things keep happening to you, then you need this talisman in your life. It will protect you and bring you the relief you need to stay on your goals.
3.The Learning Talisman (Gakugyou-jouju)
One talisman you will find among students all over Japan is the learning talisman. Keep in mind that it doesn’t emphasize schooling and education but on acquiring knowledge. Students hang these talismans on their backpacks to encourage themselves to study harder and do well in academics.
The talisman will not help you pass any test, but it will help you acquire more knowledge in the long run. If you feel that you need a push and motivation to learn more and gain knowledge, you will do well with this talisman. If you are a student, it is one of the best good luck charms for you.
4.The Wealth Talisman (shoubaihanjou)
If you need some help in the finance department or want economic prosperity, this omamori is ideal for you. The primary aim of the talisman is to ensure a prosperous business and finances for you. You will find this omamori hanging on the briefcases of many businessmen in Japan.
Many shrines in Japan also offer specific wealth talismans for increasing savings, completing business deals, increasing personal finance, and much more. Many people also keep this talisman in their wallets to prevent them from reckless spending. If you need some luck in your life in terms of wealth and finances, this omamori is for you.
5.Health Talisman (kenko kigan)
Of course, people struggling with their health are not left out when it comes to omamori. The talisman includes a prayer for better health, healing, and long life. If you haven’t had the best health for a while, it is time to get this talisman.
It will ensure you feel better and your health improves with time. Many people in Japan give this omamori to sick people as a kind gesture for their health and recovery. So, if you know someone who is sick, you can get this talisman for them.
6.Traffic Safety Talisman (koutsuanzen)
The most common omamori is the traffic safety talisman that is designed to keep people safe on the roads. You can hang this omamori in your car to protect yourself from unnecessary accidents. Many students looking to learn to drive and obtain their license have this omamori in their cars.
Even taxi drivers and people who offer commuting options have this omamori in their vehicles. If you are an anxious driver and need something to calm you down and avoid incidents, the omamori will help you. All you have to do is hang it in your car as a reminder that you are safe.
7.Love Omamori (enmusubi)
Many people seeking omamori are looking for love talismans to bring this energy into their life. Of course, love is complicated, and there are omamori dedicated to each aspect of it. Here are the top love omamori categories you will find in Japan:
- Single Individuals: The omamori for single people has a message of love that intends to bring people together. It also works to enhance relationships and interactions with other people. Keep in mind that this is not a magic talisman that will help you find love in a day. You will have to wait for the right person to come along, and when they do, the omamori will help you stay happy
- Married Couples: Omamori for married couples is a unit of one that the couple shares. They are large omamori’s which are used to keep the couple happy for a long time
- Couples: For couples who are not married, the omamori comes in pairs, and they work to solidify the relationship of the couple
You can choose from any of these top three good luck charms if you are struggling with your love life. You have to be patient with the results of this.
8.Successful And Safe Childbirth Talisman (anzan kigan)
If you are about to give birth soon or you know someone who will give birth soon, the talisman is for you. It will ensure the health of safety of the woman and guarantee safe childbirth. The process will be smooth without any complications.
Many pregnant women take this talisman with them when they are about to give birth. So, get this omamori and gift it to a loved one who is about to give birth soon.
Top Tips When Using Omamori
To get the most out of your omamori, here are the top tips you should follow:
1.Returning The Omamori
There is no official expiry date on an omamori, but it is common to keep them for a year. Many temples and shrines in Japan offer an omamori return service to people. You can use this service to return your old omamori so the staff can get rid of them.
All the omamori that is old and returned is properly disposed of by the religious staff by burning them in a unique ceremony. So, if you have used your omamori for a year or more, it is time to return and get a new one. Once you do, it will work wonders for you again.
2.The Right Place To Keep Omamori
After you purchase an omamori, you should leave it alone and undisturbed. All you have to do is carry it with you as a reminder of their power. You can buy the omamori for yourself or gift it to someone else who might need its powers.
Keep in mind that there is no right or universal way to carry omamori. You can tie it to your bag, keep it in your purse or wallet, or you can also keep it in your car. As long as you know where you have kept the omamori, it will work for you.
Besides that, the omamori should be handled with care, so don’t be rough with it. However, as your omamori gets old, it will look dirty or faded. Of course, that just means that the power of the omamori is working, and it is fulfilling its function.
3.Never Open The Omamori
An important rule that everyone follows is never to open the omamori. Once you open and look inside, the prayer will lose power, and your omamori will be of no use to you. That is because an omamori derives its power from the mysterious unknown as the user doesn’t know what is inside but trusts it completely.
The functioning of the omamori is driven by faith and mystery. The mystery comes from the omamori, and the faith comes from you. Both powers work together to manifest whatever it is you wish.
Omamori serves as a reminder to think through financial decisions, make better decisions, drive safely, and much more. Omamori is not a magical power that will do all these things for you. Instead, it will give you the faith you need while accomplishing what you want by staying with you through all times.
4.How To Take Care Of Omamori
If you buy the omamori from a shrine or temple, they will tell you that the omamori might get damaged, dirty, or lost because it is protecting you. That is why you will have to take care of it. If the omamori is not hanging from the string any more, you can always keep it in your bag or pocket.
On the other hand, many people think that it is okay to wash an omamori if it gets dirty, but you should refrain from doing that. When you wash the omamori, you wash away all its protective powers. Because of this, you might face some bad luck, which is why you should not wash the talisman.
That was your complete guide to understanding omamori, which is a Japanese good luck charm that you can purchase in temples and shrines. Besides the common talismans we stated above, there are also many unique ones out there to help us with our modern lives. If you want to strengthen your faith or need the motivation to accomplish some goals, an omamori is the ideal choice for you.
You can also get an omamori for your friend or family member who might need it. It is a great gesture you can offer to someone as it reminds them that you care about their goals and life. If you have an omamori, you should follow all these guidelines to make the most use out of it.
Once you do, you will notice its powers working for you. Remember to have faith in this talisman and keep it with you wherever you are. Doing this will guarantee it works in your favor.