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Anime Character on Ema at Kanda Shrine, Tokyo

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Many Japanese people goes to Shinto shrines on New Year’s Day, and wishes the new year. Some write their wishes on Ema, small wooden plaque.

Ema (絵馬) are small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes. The ema are then left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) receive them. They bear various pictures, often of animals or other Shinto imagery, and many have the word gan’i (願意), meaning “wish”, written along the side. In ancient times people would donate horses to the shrines for good favor; over time this was transferred to a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse, and later still to the various wooden plaques sold today for the same purpose.

Ema – Wikipedia

Ema at Itsukushima Shrine

Ema at Itsukushima Shrine

Ema at Kasuga Shrine

Ema at Kasuga Shrine

Ema at Ishiyama-dera Temple

Ema at Ishiyama-dera Temple

There is a shrine named Kanda Shrine near to Akihabara.

Kanda Shrine (神田明神 Kanda-myōjin, formerly 神田神社 Kanda-jinja), is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The shrine dates back 1,270 years, but the current structure was rebuilt several times due to fire and earthquakes. It is situated in one of the most expensive estate areas of Tokyo. Kanda Shrine was an important shrine to both the warrior class and citizens of Japan, especially during the Edo period, when shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu paid his respects at Kanda Shrine.

Kanda Shrine – Wikipedia

Kanda Shrine

Kanda Shrine

These are Emas with Anime characters painted by Otakus. They are called “Ita-Ema (痛絵馬).”

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