Small amulets called ‘omamori’ are sold at shrines or temples in Japan. The word omamori means ‘protection’ and these objects are amulets that are generally meant to give good luck to the person who acquires them. Usually, omamori come in the form of a bag with beautiful details, and inside there is a prayer written by hand by the priests of the sanctuary. The bag should not be opened because in that case, it would lose its effect.
For many Japanese people, omamori are objects of utmost importance. It is carried as a keychain, in the purse, in the wallet, in the car, or in the place where that person wishes to be protected. Omamori are also given to loved ones as a physical attest of good wishes and love for that person. Some people offer their omamori back to the shrine or temple so that they can be burned ritually, and a new cycle can begin in the New Year. The cover of the amulet is usually made of brocade silk and keeps in it a sacred paper or a piece of wood with prayers written on them that protect the wearer in occasions, tasks, or in particular activities.
This custom has been maintained since the Edo period (1603-1868), during which people traveled thousands of kilometers to pray in their favorite sanctuary, and when they obtained an omamori they could return to their homes with the protection of the gods now with them.
After WW2, the government and places of a religious nature had to be separated. For this reason, today the shrines and temples are maintained mostly from donations, fees paid for ceremonies, and sales of omamori. Therefore, buying an omamori is also a way of thanking the sanctuary for existing and supporting the sanctuary to continue standing.
For foreign tourists, buying an omamori is a great souvenir idea, because when taking an amulet back, it is a way to stay connected with the sacred energy of Japan and it is promised that one day they will return to the country of the rising sun. Also, if it is given to family or friends, it is to give the true energy of Japan, it is to give protection and love. Omamori are not banal objects that are sold in gift shops, but sacred amulets of high energy vibration that maintain a strong bond with the true Japanese spirit of peace.
Uses of Omamori
Omamori have a variety of uses, here are some examples;
– Health and getting rid of disease
– Protection against bad energy
– General protection
– Economic prosperity
– Attracting love
– Study support
– Work support
Omamori are sacred amulets, and by obtaining one, it is equivalent to taking the sacred energy of the sanctuary with you and thus always being protected by the pure energy of these special places even when you are elsewhere. Each sanctuary has its own special design and shrines specialize in different life areas, so many people go to a few different shrines and temples to have various types of divine support.