Omamori Good Luck Charms: Protecting Yourself in Little Ways

  • There are so many places to visit and explore in Japan. If you visit shrines and temples, you may have seen some small brocade bags with amulets inside. They are known as good luck charms or “omamori” in Japanese. Omamori is the honorific form of the word “mamori”, which means “protection.”

    They are made sacred through a specific ritual, which is done both in shrines and temples. They are, however, for sale and buying them is considered as a donation for the place. They can be seen anywhere in Japan such as being tied to a child’s backpack or dangling in a car. They are known to protect people in little ways.

    Origin of Omamori


    Omamori used to be an amulet made of paper or wood and are considered as a portable way of protecting yourself. Come to think of the four-leaf clover or the lucky rabbit’s foot is also a form of protection; same goes for the omamori.

    Nowadays, you can see different types of materials used for omamori. With the high demand comes an increase in omamori supply. It has almost been commercialized! Some priests even doubt the authenticity of some.

    Types of Omamori


    There’s a wide variety of omamori available in the country. There’s an omamori for: happiness, traffic safety, romance, safe childbirth, avoidance of evil, good fortune, education, good health, get-well-soon and prosperity. There are also some unusual ones such as: digital security, safety from bears and pet safety. Once you purchase your omamori, you can attach it to anything appropriate enough for it to provide protection with.



    Never open an omamori to avoid losing its protective elements. It is also considered as “disrespectful.” Also, they have a limited lifespan of one year or as long as they are damaged. When you happen to see an omamori broken or damaged, it just means it is doing its part. The bad thing didn’t happen to you but to the omamori which helped protect you.

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