Saturday, 8 January 2011

Black & Whites Part IV

Write on a tablet for your wish to come true?



My entry for this week's  Budget Trouble : Show Me Japan

Update:
An explanation by the excelllent Yoshi, that somehow got lost in the comment netherworld, for your reading pleasure. (To be read as Part 1 of his 5-part comment series) :

"As I commented earlier, Ema E(絵) means painting/drawing and MA(馬) means horse, is a small wooden plaque that, in principle, the image of the horse is drawn on one side and your wishes, desires, ambitions, dirty minds, and prayers are written on the other side. Don't forget to put your name since Shinto deity cannot tell who wished what".

And Anna & Yoshi, no - I didn't fell asleep. Enjoying the read very much. Thanks!

32 comments:

  1. Hope.

    How wonderful a photograph ! Please have a good weekend.

    daily athens

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  2. I think the B&W was a nice touch for this one.

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  3. Year it's Ema (絵馬)! B&W really fits to this photo.
    Back in old days we had a tradition that when Samurai solders pray for their victory at the shrine, they donated real horses. Wood tablet that the horse is painted on its back is a substitute for the real horse.
    Thanks for showing us Japan and have a wonderful weekend.
    Yoshi

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  4. @ρομπερτ,
    Isn't hope an amazing thing? :)

    Have a great weekend too!

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  5. @sixmats,
    You think so? Thanks! :)

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  6. @Yoshi,
    Thanks for the insight. I am learning a lot about Japan from your comments here. :)

    Have an awesome weekend too!

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  7. Hi Lina,
    didn't I tell you that my Mister will snow with you knowledge until you buried up to your neck in Japan-related trivia? LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Anna,
    I'm quivering in fear for the time when/if we get to meet him Japan one day! All those knowledge. I bet it'll be like a history lesson with Prof Yoshi! Lucky I love history. :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Lina!

    I'm back, I'm back!

    Your B&W shot is getting more and more artsy! love it!

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  10. So many wishes to be granted. Do they just buy a block, write on it with a pen, and hang it anywhere? That one is so elaborate with the tiger drawing.

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  11. What are those tags for? Name tags?

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  12. @Ayie,
    You think so? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  13. @AVCr8teur,
    I let Yoshi reply to your question. But yes, the tablet is sold and hung in a shrine/temple.

    Yoshi? Care to explain further about the ema? *^-^*

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  14. @Mei Teng,
    Those are tablets called "ema". Prayers and wishes are written on them and hung in temples so that "kami"/god receive them.

    Again, Yoshi-san! Please elaborate! I know you'd love too! :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is Yoshi posting once again. I am afraid that all of you guys will fall asleep while reading...

    As I commented earlier, Ema (絵馬), E(絵) means painting/drawing and MA(馬) means horse, is a small wooden plaque that, in principle, the image of the horse is drawn on one side and your wishes, desires, ambitions, dirty minds, and prayers are written on the other side. Don't forget to put your name since Shinto deity cannot tell who wished what.

    In Syoku Nihongi (続日本紀) filed during Nara period (A.D. 710-794), horses are believed to be a sacred creature and therefore "Sacred horse" was donated to the Shrine. Since the budget trouble of donating the horse (prayer) and of taking care of donated horses (Shinto priests) has been arisen, substitutions of the real horse appeared in Heian Period (794-1192), which are tablets made of wood, paper, or cray that include a painting of sacred horse.

    Later on, during Muromachi period (A.D. 1336-1573), drawing (絵) a variety of animals/words became common. A diversity of the shape of Ema was another thing to be found during that period.
    Current style was originated from Edo period (A.D. 1603-1867) that I described earlier.

    At Shrine you can find a small hut selling Ema and lots of other things. Buying an Ema (there are plenty in size/price) is equivalent to donating a horse. Hanging up your Ema (with your wish and the name included) and leaving it at Shrine means Shinto Priests maintaining sacred horse donated by you.

    Why is the shape of Ema pentagon???
    It represents a house without a roof. There used to be a roof on top of these two sides. Just like an ordinary Japanese style house and it used to be a lot thicker than what is available now. I am not sure when and how the roofs have gone...

    Are we clear or more confused now???

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is Yoshi posting once again,

    As I commented earlier, Ema (絵馬), E(絵) means painting/drawing and MA(馬) means horse, is a small wooden plaque that, in principle, the image of the horse is drawn on one side and your wishes, desires, ambitions, dirty minds, and prayers are written on the other side. Don't forget to put your name since Shinto deity cannot tell who wished what.

    continued to part 2

    ReplyDelete
  17. In Syoku Nihongi (続日本紀) filed during Nara period (A.D. 710-794), horses are believed to be a sacred creature and therefore "Sacred horse" was donated to the Shrine. Since the budget trouble of donating the horse (prayer) and of taking care of donated horses (Shinto priests), substitutions of the real horse appeared in Heian Period (794-1192), which are tablets made of wood, paper, or cray.

    continued to part 3

    ReplyDelete
  18. Later on, during Muromachi period (A.D. 1336-1573), drawing (絵) a variety of animals/words became common. A diversity of the shape of Ema was another thing to be found during that period.
    Current style was originated from Edo period (A.D. 1603-1867) that I described earlier.

    continued to part 4

    ReplyDelete
  19. At Shrine you can find a small hut selling Ema and lots of other things. Buying an Ema (there are plenty in size/price) is equivalent to donating a horse. Hanging up your Ema (with your wish and the name included) and leaving it at Shrine means Shinto Priests maintaining sacred horse donated by you.

    continued to part 5

    ReplyDelete
  20. Why is the shape of Ema pentagon??? Enos ago, Ema used to have roof on top of two sides, which looked just like an ordinary Japanese style house. However, I am not sure when and how the roof has gone...

    Are we clear or confused???

    End of my comments on Ema. Thanks for reading to the end (hopefully).

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oops, part one is missing.

    Here is a missing part one:

    This is Yoshi posting once again,

    I am afraid that you guys will fall asleep while reading my comments...

    As I commented earlier, Ema (絵馬), E(絵) means painting/drawing and MA(馬) means horse, is a small wooden plaque that, in principle, the image of the horse is drawn on one side and your wishes, desires, ambitions, dirty minds, and prayers are written on the other side. Don't forget to put your name since Shinto deity cannot tell who wished what.

    continued to part 2

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oops, part one is missing.
    Here is part one.

    This is Yoshi posting once again,
    I am afraid that you guys will fall asleep while reading my comments...

    As I commented earlier, Ema (絵馬), E(絵) means painting/drawing and MA(馬) means horse, is a small wooden plaque that, in principle, the image of the horse is drawn on one side and your wishes, desires, ambitions, dirty minds, and prayers are written on the other side. Don't forget to put your name since Shinto deity cannot tell who wished what.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oops, part one is missing.
    Here is part one - Yoshi had trouble posting it:

    This is Yoshi posting once again,
    I am afraid that you guys will fall asleep while reading my comments...

    As I commented earlier, Ema (絵馬), E(絵) means painting/drawing and MA(馬) means horse, is a small wooden plaque that, in principle, the image of the horse is drawn on one side and your wishes, desires, ambitions, dirty minds, and prayers are written on the other side. Don't forget to put your name since Shinto deity cannot tell who wished what.

    Continued in part 2 which is the first comment in the batch above

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Yoshi!!!!
    Thanks so much for the explanation. :)

    Your explanation just makes me want to go and read up further on the origin and history of ema.

    I guess it is much easier on both sides on the substitution of the horses as I guess the sub of tablet also means a donation of some kind of currency or monetary value? And it is so much less of a burden paying for an ema than say, buying a whole horse.

    How does the emergence of other animals other than the sacred horses came about and introduced in the Muromachi era?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Lina,
    It's my pleasure to help participants of "Show Me Japan", especially you since you took good care of Ms. T!!
    In terms of the other animals in ema, I think you already have an answer in your beautiful B&W photo!!! I see a Tiger there, which is an animal of 2010. Animal of the year is sort of common.

    I briefly described this issue in the latest entry of my blog because my brain is now filled with horse:)))

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  26. @Yoshi,
    Last year was the year of Tiger, was it? I completely forgot. I'm worse than a goldfish! LOL

    So plenty of rabbits to be seen this year. I'm a rabbit. :)

    Thanks again for all the explanation.

    Have a great Sunday! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. nice angle and composition, found your blog from yoshi.

    ReplyDelete
  28. @Lily,
    Hi ya! Thanks - both for the compliment and for dropping by. :)

    I'm enjoying reading your globe-trotting adventure over your blog, right now.^_^

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  29. Thank you Yoshi for the explanations. Yes, we should see more Rabbits this year. It is a good year for you Lina.

    ReplyDelete
  30. @AVCR8teur,
    I sure hope more exciting things will happen in the year of Rabbit! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. hope the year of Rabbit brings a bountiful abundance to all of us.

    ReplyDelete

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