Sunday, September 11, 2011

Omamori on the Go

I am a great believer in the power of Omamori and seldom does a New Year holiday pass when we do not visit Zojoji to get our annual fix. Designed to protect and shield us from misfortune throughout the year, these little embroidered, cloth amulets are sold at shrines and temples. Containing a small piece of paper with a prayer on it, they are good for a year but then need to be properly discarded at a shrine or temple and replaced. Some of the most common Omamori protect against illness, insure good grades and guard us from traffic accidents. During my pregnancy years, I always carried an Omamori for a safe birth.

It is very common to see Omamori dangling from a car's rear view mirror or, in the case of sticker-style amulets, pasted onto a car's backside. But never had I ever seen an Omamori attached to a bicycle until we drove by this two-wheeler the other day. Parked in front of the Cartier building near Omotesando, it looked like a conventional, black bike. But then my eye gravitated towards the little yellow pouch suspended from its seat bottom. What a clever idea! Is there a special amulet for cyclists? Since we just bought a bicycle last weekend, I shall have to investigate. If you have any leads, please let me know.

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