Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paper Strips at Japanese Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples

You might have seen these paper strips at Japanese Shinto Shrines and Buddhist Temples and wondered, what the meaning behind these papers is. It’s called o-mikuji (おみくじ / 御神籤) in Japanese.

People buy these printed papers. The short text is of good or bad fortune. After reading it, people fold the ones of bad fortune up again and tie them to pines or to racks, which the temples and shrines provide. Originally it had been pines (松) as the sound matsu is equal to wait (待つ); instead of harming the person the bad luck waits at the pine. Some people take the o-mikuji of good fortune with them, but others tie them to the tree or rack as well. I don’t have an idea, why luck should increase by tying it at the temple. There isn’t an etymological explanation. Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-mikuji  

O-mikuji tied to a rack

Rack for o-mikuji and others around an old pine

Close up

Other blogposts about this travel to Japan:
Eating Monja (もんじゃ) in Tsukishima (月島) http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/eating-monja-in-tsukishima.html  
Megacities and Skyscapers http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/megacities-and-skyscapers.html  
Japan and Everyday Calligraphy http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/japan-and-everyday-calligraphy.html
Japan and Construction Sites http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/japan-and-construction-sites.html   
Japanese Gardens http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/japanese-gardens.html  
Graveyards in Japan http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/graveyards-in-japan.html  
Kimono and Traditional Dress http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/kimono-and-traditional-dress.html  
High Tech Toilets in Japan http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/high-tech-toilets-in-japan.html  
The Kinkakuji in Kyoto http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/the-kinkakuji-in-kyoto.html  
Shinkansen (新幹線) http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/shinkansen.html  
Japan and Garbage http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/japan-and-garbage.html  
Small Shrines Along the Road http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/small-shrines-along-road.html  
Cherry Blossoms (桜の花) http://rheumatologe.blogspot.de/2013/04/cherry-blossoms.htm l

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