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japanese good luck charms

8 Fascinating Japanese Good Luck Charms and Symbols You Must Know

Besides the Chinese belief in the symbols of good luck charm for wealth, the Japanese also hve their own collections of good luck charms. Everyone wants good luck and fortune, don’t you? So let’s check out the Japanese version of good luck symbols.

1. Maneki Neko

This beckoning cat is one of the most popular good luck symbols that is believed to bring good luck to the home and office space. In Chinese, we called it the Fortune Cat, symbolizing attracting money luck into your life. This cat come in a wide variety of patterns and designs that have different meaning behind it, so find out how to decode it in our previous article on Lucky Cat.

2. Daruma Doll

The Daruma, which is being modeled after Bodhidharma, a monk accredited with the founding of Zen Buddhism, is a traditional Japanese doll that symbolize perseverance and good luck, therefore it has become a popular souvenir to bring back to give your loved ones as a gift.

3. Ema – Wishing Plaques

I believed that many of us have seen these wooden plaque when we visit Japan’s shrines or temples. But do you know the name of this good luck charm and their significance?

This wooden palm-sized plaque is called “Ema”. People write their prayers and wishes so that the god can hear them and grant their wish true.

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4. Origami Crane 

In Japan tradition, the crane is a mystical creature, similar to the Chinese 4 celestial animals. -They are namely the Azure Dragon, White Tiger, Phoenix and Turtle. The crane is believed to have a life span of thousand years, so it is a well representation of good fortune and longevity.

It has been a tradition and belief that if a person folds 1000 origami cranes, his/her wishes will come true. Will you try it?

5. Laughing Buddha (Hotei)

In both Chinese and Japanese culture, Laughing Buddha holds a significant position in bringing happiness and prosperity to the people. It is also believed that rubbing his belly will bring the person good luck. Now you know why many people keeping touching the laughing Buddha belly in temple.

6. Koi Fish / Carp

Similarly to the Chinese belief, the Japanese also believed that this Koi fish/carp is an auspicious symbol. It represents good luck, perseverance in adversity, and success. This starts with a legendary story of a koi/carp successfully leaped over the dragon gate and transformed into a powerful dragon. Thus, it symbolizes breakthrough in your life or career.

7. Omamori – Japanese Lucky Charms

Omamori is a symbol of protection and blessing for many purposes. They are namely good fortune, academic success, money and business, good health, safe childbirth, love, happiness, safe travel and many other auspicious meanings.

When you are in Japan, remember to drop by almost any shrines and Buddhist temples to purchase them. If not, you can just get it online.

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8. Golden Lucky Turtle

This golden turtle symbol has been trending in the past years. People believed it bring good money luck when you placed 2 inside your wallet/purse. You can place it at your work desk or on your calculator for business or career luck. It is also an ideal gift for the elder because tortoise/turtle symbolize long life and good health.

As for the material, it is not real 999 gold, but it is just made of gilded gold that is more suitable for decor purpose, so do not be mistaken.
After knowing the meaning behind the Japanese good luck charms and symbols, remember to get one if you visit Japan.

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