Charms and Superstitions
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Transcript of Charms and Superstitions
Japanese Charms, Spells, and SuperstitionsChristine Perry
Temples and Shrines?
Temples in Japan, such as the famed Kinkaku-ji
in Kyoto, are known as “otera”. Buddhist.
Shrines in Japan, such the Ise Grand Shrine in
Mie Prefecture, are known as “jinja”. Shinto.
The structures often share architectural elements
but shrines sometimes have fewer rooms.
Purpose of each differ, however.
Purchasable from Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, can sometimes purchase as souvenirs in souvenir shops
Various purported effects and “boosts”
Good for one year, then should be returned to the shrine to be destroyed
Never open an omamori
Contains paper or wood with a blessing inscribed
In the shape of the bodhisattva, Bodhidharma (Zen)
Dolls originated in his temple in Gunma Prefecture as omamori, very popular
Comes eyeless, draw on one eye to invoke it and make a wish. When fulfilled, draw on the other eye.
Good luck charm in Japanese households
Shape makes it so it doesn’t fall down easily. Symbolizes resilience and recovery from slight.
Written charms used to ward away misfortune and harm, standard uses name of deity and name of shrine
Used to protect households, drawn by Shinto priests and blessed
Kind like a big omamori that is not portable but can protect whole buildings/groups of people
Commonly seen in modern media, but in various ways
Kamidana containing ofuda (center), ema, mirror, offering
bowl, daruma doll, gohei, hamaya
Salt and Water
Salt used as substance to repel nearby evil
Sumo, maki-shio, mori-shio, at funerals
Water is used to cleanse the face and hands
before entering the shrine grounds
Misogi and harae
Symbolizes purification of the inherently unclean
human body and soul
Families throw roasted
soybeans) to drive
demons away from the
Purifies the home for
the new year (February
The modern practice
somewhat from the
traditional roots- kids
just like to throw
beans, often at their
dads who wear a scary
Don’t clip your nails at night. If you do, you
won’t be with your parents when they die.
Kill a spider that intrudes upon you at night
because they are bad luck (morning is ok
The thunder god may steal your belly button
if you expose your belly during a
If eggplants appear in your first dream of the
new year, it is good luck
If you lie down right after you eat, you’ll
become a cow.
If a hearse drives past/if you are walking by a
cemetery, you should hide your thumbs.
Numbers 4 and 9
Don’t sleep with head facing north.
Don’t stick chopsticks upright in your bowl of
Tradition and today
Many traditions are rooted deeply in history but
are still practiced in the modern era.
Pride in history and tradition allows even obscure
traditions and beliefs to live on in media
representations and elsewhere.
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