Glossary (Phrase list) >> Charm

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Omamori お守り


  Many Japanese buy these items basically at shrines.  They are available anytime, but we usually get them at the time of Hatsumoude (初詣、the first worship-visit at the beginning of every year).


* Since they are holy items, we don't use the words of "sell" and "buy".  If you find writings like as "Charms are given in this temple." or "You can receive amulets in that shrine.", that means "be sold" or "to buy" in almost all cases.


Omamori (お守り, Charm): To keep it in the bag or wallet etc.  A variety of Omamori are available such as for good health, success, safe driving etc.


Ofuda (お札, Amulet) / Hamaya (破魔矢, Arrow shaped amulet): To be placed in our house to protect ourselves from bad things.


  Usually these items are replaced every year.  When we have the new items, used ones should be put into a return-box in shrines and temples to burn out with prayer by priests.  We call that act "to return" instead of discarding and should be careful not to confuse those boxes with the regular litter boxes.


= Note =

  The best place to return charms is the place where we received them.

  It's all right to return them at other places if we can't go to the same place.  But, it's said that we should return charms to shrine if buying them at shrine or returning to temple if buying at temple.

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