Ema (picture horses)

Ema (picture horses) are wooden plaques you can buy at temples. On one side is a drawing – typical of an animal, often based on the animal that corresponds to the year. On the other side you write your wish and then hang the plaque in a specified area.

The tradition comes from Shinto, but you can often find them at Buddhist temples as well.

One thought on “Ema (picture horses)

  1. I assume you made a picture of the only western ema – the rest is in Japanese – right?
    they are beautiful, and because of the writing next to them and background look very different.
    I was always wondering, if you take only an animal from an Eastern picture and
    give it to someone to look at, will they guess the horse is actually from Japan?


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