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What is an omamori?
Omamori is a Japanese type of amulet for praying for good luck and warding off misfortune.
It is sometimes thought that a certain power sits within a person, animal, plant or stone, and can be used as an omamori as well.
Some are artificially made items in the shape of notes and accessories.
Meaning of omamori
We would like to introduce you to the meaning of omamori at shrines and temples.
First of all, the most common misconception is that just having an omamori makes your wish come true.
As mentioned above, an omamori is a sorcerous item, but it is not an item which makes your goals come true just by owning it.
What is “mamori”?
The origin of the word "mamori" is "me-mamoru" (see and protect).
In other words, "omamori" means "the gods and Buddha are watching over."
Having an omamori essentially tells the gods and Buddha that "I will do my best to fulfill my wishes, so please watch over me as I embark on this journey."
Simply possessing an omamori is meaningless
If the wishes come true with the efforts of the person himself or herself, what is the point of possessing an omamori?
However, it is difficult for people to continue their efforts unless someone monitors them.
Students can go to school or cram school because they can focus better if they are being watched by teachers.
However, if the observer is a person, those who are being watched tend to have a feeling of dissatisfaction, and tend to focus on anger and frustration rather than working hard.
Since gods and Buddha are far from human beings, such feelings will be less likely to occur.
Having an omamori means to foster a spirit of humble and continuous effort by having the gods and Buddha watch over them.
Is it true that omamori fight with one another?
We sometimes hear that if you have omamori of various temples and shrines, the omamori will quarrel with each other.
Even if you don't have an omamori the gods and Buddha watch over us, but the omamori is to keep that feeling close to you.
Having a lot of omamori is equivalent to being watched by that many more gods and Buddhas, so it might actually be too intense and tiring.
There are various ways of thinking about omamori.
The one introduced here is just one of the ways of thinking.
However, one thing we can say for sure is don't forget your gratitude.
Originally the omamori was regarded as the alter ego of gods, so it is rude to treat it poorly.
Although you need to pay for the omamori, you should not take it for granted that you will benefit from it simply by doing so, so let's express our gratitude and be thankful that it always protects us.