Omamori – Japanese lucky charms –
What is Omamori?
Secret tip of Japanese lucky charms.
Hi. I’m Yukako who lives in the northern part of Europe, and teaches and tells people about Japanese traditional culture such as tea ceremony, kimono, etc. offline and online.
Have you ever got a lucky charm at the shrine in Japan?
Lucky charms are called “omamori” in Japanese. It’s usually a small cloth bag and available for various wishes such as academic, health, wealth, etc. The shape is usually square, but these days different shapes are available too. The price is usually around US$7, and people get it for memory of a visit or their wish. Various colors are also available, and some even have a cute bell or a little bow. We usually hang it on a bag, a wallet, may also be on a cell phone these days.
However, when you pick up one while you travelling in Japan, and especially you wouldn’t come back within one year, you had better consider to get it. It is because omamori has a power to make your wish come true, so you need to return it to the same shrine where you got it or Japanese Shinto shrine in order to conveying thankfulness to God.
There are some various stories, but usually the power is available for one year, and afterwards you are supposed to return it. Some don’t know about this rule and keep the omamori for a decade! But, it’s a gift from God and it shouldn’t be treated without a respect.
It’s a good gift to someone special who needs supports from God! But, treat it with respect and don’t forget it to return afterwards!