Japanese Lucky Charms- Guide to “Omamori”
What Is Omamori & How Does It Work?
Omamori is a provider of luck or an amulet for protection. Belief is that you would receive benefits by carrying it with you all the time in your pocket, purse, wallet, bag... so on.
This small pocket size charm contains power of prayer and blessings from priests, and this piece of talisman is carefully stored in beautiful sack in various colors, shapes and materials.
Theses beautiful talisman bags are mostly offered at shrines and temples, treated with great care.
The Truth of Omamori
The amulet is not a magic tool, just having it will not make your wish come true.
It is to motivate us to strive forward by reminding us the oath, so to speak, that you wish to fulfill in your life.
In other words, with having the gods and buddha's protection, and encouraging you, makes you feel humble in nurturing the strong spirit which enables you to maintain effort towards wherever you with you get to in your life.
What Is the Appropriate Way of Handle It?
If you want to place it at home, do not put is away somewhere you can not see. Place somewhere visible, and it is believed that it is better to put it in a higher place as much as possible.
Also, belief is that by carrying it in your wallet or bag wherever you go will likely provide benefits easier.
In any case, please remember to pay respect and treat it with care.
Where Can I Get One?
Amulet bags bought at a souvenir shop will also be a memorial, however still visit the temples and shrines to get an authentic once.
Both shrines and temples are providing amulets at their office venders set up outside.
Please note that there is a special language used in relation to purchasing amulets. They do not say "buy / sell", instead use "to be received (sazukaru) / to grant (Jyuyo-suru)".
Is It Inappropriate to Buy as Souvenir?
The custom suggests that amulet is purchased before going up to the main shrine, and wrap it with both hands when you offer prayer. Basically it is a very personal object with strong personal feelings to it.
There is no rule to tell you that you should not buy it as a souvenir, but the recipient might not know what to do with it.
Since there might be religious and cultural difference to be aware and concerned, it seems better to refrain from giving it to others in the same way as other casual gifts you pick up on your trip.