This is an "Ema". "Ema" are small Wooden Plaques on which Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes. The ema are then left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) receive them. They bear various pictures, often of animals or other Shinto imagery, and many have the word gan'i (願意), meaning "wish", written along the side. In ancient times people would donate horses to the shrines for good favor, over time this was transferred to a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse, and later still to the various wooden plaques sold today for the same purpose.
Ema are sold for various wishes. Common reasons for buying a plaque are for success in work or on exams, marital bliss, to have children, and health. Some shrines specialize in certain types of these plaques, and the larger shrines may offer more than one. Sales of ema help support the shrine financially.
******** The Ema is from Chousenji Temple, Irima, Saitama. It enshrined Daikoku-ten. In Japan, Daikokuten (大黒天), the god of great darkness or blackness, or the god of five cereals, is one of the Seven Lucky Gods. Daikokuten evolved from the Buddhist form of the Indian deity Shiva intertwined with the Shinto god Ōkuninushi. The name is the Japanese equivalent of Mahākāla, the Buddhist name for Shiva.
It measures about 14.5 x 10 x 0.8 cm.
This post first appeared on Japanese Stickers Fabric Vintage Items And By From, please read the originial post: here