Read these silent prayers written on light wooden votive plaques “Ema” dancing with the wind this afternoon at the top of Kencho-ji Buddhist temple in Kamakura city, just beyond the stairs guarded by the statue of a tengu and numerous statues of karasu-tengu…
Prayer in Japanese: “くつやさんになれますように。” i.e. “May I become a shoemaker (shoe seller?).”, written in simple hiragana alphabet instead of difficult Chinese characters and signed by a young (?) Japanese boy.
Prayer in English: “My hope for 2014 is that my family and friends stay strong and healthy. I hope the woman I love finds happiness and learns to love again.” written by an anonymous foreigner (?).
Many other wishes were written on votive plaques decorated with a mythical tengu in blue robes holding a staff or with a Migawari-jizo-son (Jizo taking one’s pain and suffering in one’s stead).
May these touching/heart-warming wishes come true…
And You, what would You write on your “Ema” in Japan?
- Votive plaque = 絵馬 (Ema).
- Tengu = 天狗, Karasu-tengu = 烏天狗, Jizo = 地蔵, Migawari-jizo-son = 身代り地蔵尊.
- Kencho-ji = 建長寺, Kamakura city = 鎌倉市 (Kamakura-shi).
Japan is administratively divided in 47 complementary areas listed in English below by big region from North-East to South-West:
Any specialist of Japan should know this basic list and should be able to place the 47 names on an administrative map of Japan. Do not wait if you plan to be an English-speaking tour conductor, tour guide or travel agent in Japan like Sébastien Duval
Learn more about Japan – Nihon – Nippon on Inner Japan…