All About Japan

These Charms are Simply, Well, Charming!

Temples Temples & Shrines Tokyo

Ikegami Jissouji Temple, located in the Ota Ward of Tokyo and belonging to the Nichiren Sect of Buddhism, has given traditional Japanese charms called omamori a delightful modern makeover.

Omamori, which literally means “something that protects,” are charms that typically take the form of a small religious item kept inside a pouch, usually made of brocaded silk. Many temples and shrines sell different omamori for specific purposes such as success in studies, safe childbirth and protection from traffic accidents.

But now, Ikegami Issouji Temple has come up with the innovative concept of custom-made omamori, or OMAMO, as they’re calling their line of charms, which they hope will better accommodate modern-day wishes and concerns by allowing people to choose omamori with brocade patterns to specifically suit their needs.

Each one of these is a traditional Japanese pattern with its own meaning, and you can choose a charm with the combination of patterns that best matches your wishes.

For example, if you’re wishing for good health, a combination of the kikkou pattern and the amime pattern may be suitable.

The patterns are carefully chosen by Ikegami Jissouji priest Chiko Sakai (seen in the video above), who also conducts the prayers to sanctify the charms.

They’re now taking orders for the charms by e-mail through the OMAMO website (and through their online form for original charms) for delivery starting in February, 2016. Unfortunately, although they have quite a bit of information available in English on their site, the charms are apparently only being shipped within Japan. If you're able to receive them in Japan, though, they certainly seem like they would make a nice personalized gift, and they’re pretty to look at as well.

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