Vernicious Knids

Random musings and snapshots about life, love, travel and everything in between...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

If wishes were horses...

Traditionally, in order to have a wish granted, wealthy Japanese would donate a horse to their local shrine - this custom then evolved into the donation of ema - a small wooden tablet with a picture of a horse on it. You write your wish or prayer on the back of the ema and hang it at the shrine - if your wish comes true, it's good form to buy another ema as thanks. Nowadays, ema may be illustrated with chinese zodiac symbols or a person or object associated with that particular shrine.



Tsuru or cranes have long been auspicious in Japan. If you fold senbazuru - 1000 origami cranes - your wish will also come true. The most famous example of this is Sadako who was 2 years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Many people believe that Sadako was only able to fold 644 cranes before she died from radiation poisoning, and her classmates folded the rest after her death, however, others say that she folded well over 1000 during her short life. Regardless, she is now a striking symbol for peace as she wished not only for her own health, but to bring peace and healing to all people.



I took these photos at Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine in Kawasaki in April, 2005.
Posted by Picasa

10 Comments:

  • At 2:44 am, Anonymous antonia said…

    Wow, amazing colours in the paper cranes. Japan is so beautiful :-)

     
  • At 4:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lovely photos and I enjoyed learning the stories behind them.
    Blogtopsites sent me here!!!!

     
  • At 5:28 am, Blogger Carolyn said…

    The story about Sadako was so sad.

     
  • At 9:42 pm, Blogger traveller one said…

    That reminded me of the time my daughters class made 1000 cranes!

     
  • At 9:52 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Antonia: Sometimes you have to look hard to find beauty in Japan - but you can generally find it at shrines!

     
  • At 9:53 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Welcome Anon, glad you enjoyed your visit :)

     
  • At 9:54 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    Carolyn: Sad but also uplifting...visiting Hiroshima was one of the most moving experiences I've had - the other was visiting the Death Railway in Thailand.

     
  • At 9:55 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    T1: It's great that this tradition has spread to so many countries!

     
  • At 7:41 am, Blogger My float said…

    I heard the story of Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes when I was in primary school, about eight or nine, I think. It really stuck with me as a story of amazing strength and courage and this often comes to mind.

     
  • At 11:45 pm, Blogger verniciousknids said…

    If only it was as easy as folding 1000 paper cranes to make all your wishes come true :)

     

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 
counter
Online Movie Rentals