What is this good luck charm (Japanese)
Oct 23, 2008 at 4:54 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

intoflatlines

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In my old car and my dad's old car we had this small charm thing. It was small, maybe 2"x4" with a string to hang it on. It appeared to be some sort of decorative fabric wrapped around something and it had a Japanese character on it. My parents told me that there was paper inside the wrapping and it maybe had stuff written on it, but you weren't supposed to unwrap it ever. I might be completely mixed up with what this is, but I'm just going on what I remember my parents telling me. Help me out, I want to know what this thing is called and my parents are sleeping so I can't call them to ask.
 
Oct 23, 2008 at 5:24 AM Post #2 of 10

ClieOS

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It is called '御守り' (omamori, おまもり) . You can buy them from most Japanese Shinto temple.

IMG_5438.JPG

The 4th on the lower row, counting from the left, is for traffic protection.
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 1:23 AM Post #6 of 10

myinitialsaredac

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Hate to go offtopic, but the 4th on the bottom from the right looks like a swastika flipped around and turned 45 degrees Oo. Bad memories or feelings from WWII? Or possible a reflected hindu symbol.

Dave
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 2:17 AM Post #8 of 10

ClieOS

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Well, I have a followup post which was taken out when the server down so I guess I made a new one:

If you can find those omamori locally, you can try eBay (search 'omamori' should give you a lot of result).

As for the flipped + turned swastika symbol, I believe it is the original Buddhism / East Asia symbol for representing harmony of all in the universe. Nazi swastika carries the negative meaning (which is why Hitler want to flip it around).
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 3:51 AM Post #9 of 10

Seaside

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The symbol in the pic is called manji (in japan) or manja (in other asian countries).

It (swastika and those symbols that looks like it) is widely used in many countries and religions for centuries. However, the swastika become controvercial in western countries after WWII.

The symbol manja is kinda well known symbol of buddism and hinduism. It represents lots of things... like fullness, harmony, balance, truth, wonder, inigma, great good beyond comprehension... that kind of meanings. It also represents the famous buddist Dharma himself, and thus it is used as a symbol of buddism. Some poeple consider that flipped symbol like Nazi swastika as a negative omen or chaos.

Regarding those charms in picture.... Mess produced charms selling for money are no more than fancy ornaments. Taking the kindness of the person who gave it to you is something else.
 
Oct 24, 2008 at 4:51 AM Post #10 of 10
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Hmm, I could do with one of those traffic charms, the drivers here in Fukuoka are horrid. ***, you don't stop in a highway merging lane! You merge! And nor do you turn into a side street from the middle of the road, you pull to the side so other cars can pass! All my hair is on the floor of the car now.
 

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