Ema votive tablets, Tokyo

Ema votive tablets, Tokyo

0.75 1.50

Ema (絵馬)

Ema are wooden tablets found at almost any Shinto shrine all over Japan, but you may also find them in a Buddhist temple as some customs of both religions have mixed.

Back in the days, and we're talking way back A.D. 710 -794, people offered horses to the gods of a shrine. Horses were seen as the messenger of gods, so by offering horses the people believed their prayers would arrive at the god's ears more quickly and also that these offerings would increase the chances of the gods actually taking positive to the prayers.

But even then horses were expensive so a solution was found in wooden tablets with a figure of a horse on one side. The other side was left blank so the person buying the Ema could write there wish, prayer or hope on the other side.

At Meiji Jingu Shrine in Tokyo one such tablet costs YEN500. After you've finished writing, the Ema should be hung at the designated place (you can't miss those). The Ema will be offered every morning for the Mikesai morning ritual.

(c) jwamsterdam

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This product will be discontinued!

One card plus white envelope

Size of the cards is: 4.13" x 5.82" or 105mm x 148mm.

High quality 340gsm sustainably sourced paper stock, the cards have a satin finish on the outside, inside of card is blank, so it's suitable for many occasions. 

Rear of the card contains copyright information.

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