charms and superstitions

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Japanese Charms, Spells, and Superstitions

Japanese Charms, Spells, and SuperstitionsChristine PerryTemples 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.

OmamoriPurchasable from Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, can sometimes purchase as souvenirs in souvenir shopsVarious purported effects and boostsGood for one year, then should be returned to the shrine to be destroyedNever open an omamoriContains paper or wood with a blessing inscribed

3Daruma DollsIn the shape of the bodhisattva, Bodhidharma (Zen)Dolls originated in his temple in Gunma Prefecture as omamori, very popularComes eyeless, draw on one eye to invoke it and make a wish. When fulfilled, draw on the other eye.Good luck charm in Japanese householdsShape makes it so it doesnt fall down easily. Symbolizes resilience and recovery from slight.

4OfudaWritten charms used to ward away misfortune and harm, standard uses name of deity and name of shrineUsed to protect households, drawn by Shinto priests and blessedKind like a big omamori that is not portable but can protect whole buildings/groups of peopleKamidanaCommonly seen in modern media, but in various ways

Kamidana containing ofuda (center), ema, mirror, offering bowl, daruma doll, gohei, hamaya 5Salt and WaterSalt used as substance to repel nearby evil spiritsSumo, maki-shio, mori-shio, at funeralsWater is used to cleanse the face and hands before entering the shrine groundsMisogi and haraeSymbolizes purification of the inherently unclean human body and soulHarai-gushi

6SetsubunFamilies throw roasted beans (usually soybeans) to drive demons away from the householdPurifies the home for the new year (February 3)The modern practice has changed somewhat from the traditional roots- kids just like to throw beans, often at their dads who wear a scary mask.

7SuperstitionsDont clip your nails at night. If you do, you wont be with your parents when they die.Kill a spider that intrudes upon you at night because they are bad luck (morning is ok though)The thunder god may steal your belly button if you expose your belly during a thunderstorm.If eggplants appear in your first dream of the new year, it is good luck

8SuperstitionsIf you lie down right after you eat, youll become a cow.If a hearse drives past/if you are walking by a cemetery, you should hide your thumbs.Numbers 4 and 9Dont sleep with head facing north.Dont stick chopsticks upright in your bowl of rice

9Tradition and todayMany 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.Referenceshttp://omamorifromjapan.blogspot.jp/2011/06/shinsatsu-mamorifuda.htmlhttp://www.nihonbunka.com/shinto/blog/archives/000026.htmlhttp://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2015/02/04/general/setsubun-hi-japan-day-full-beans/#.VNeVXmTF8llhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/shinto/ritesrituals/harae.shtml

Thank you for coming!Check out my Facebook page for this presentation and if you have any additional questions/comments or if you are interested in learning more about Japan and the Japanese language!www.facebook.com/muffinmash