Japanese Omamori

Omamori are Japanese lucky charm sold in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, dedicated to a kami or a Buddhist figure and are believed to provide different forms of luck and protection. The word mamori means protection, omamori being the sonkeigo (honorific) form of the word, "to protect". Originally made of paper and wood, modern amulets are small objects inside an embroidered cloth bag and contain a prayer, religious inscriptions. Omamori can, with few exceptions, be obtained at any Shinto shrines or Buddhist temple, and are available for sale to anyone regardless of the religion of the purchaser.

The Omamori are then made sacred by performing a ritual. Although omamori are intended for the personal use of the temple visitor, they are primarily seen as a form of donation to the temple or shrine visited. Most often, visitors offer omamori to another person to show their good feelings. The amulet's envelope is most often made of embroidered silk and contains prayers written on paper or wood, which are supposed to bring good luck and protection to the wearer on specific occasions or tasks. Omamori are also used to ward off misfortune and are often seen on bags, hung on cell phones, in cars, etc.

Traditionally made almost exclusively of wood and / or paper, omamori now use a wide variety of materials. Modern commercialism has taken a small part in the process of creating the omamori. This happens when the busiest shrines and temples cannot meet the growing demand for certain types of charms. They then turn to factories to manufacture them. However, priests have sometimes complained about their quality and authenticity.