What's an Omamori Charm?

Omamori charms (お守り) are small Japanese amulets that are said to provide various forms of good luck and protection. Visit any Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple in Japan and you will likely see them for sale. Our premium brocade yarn Omamori are made in Japan and can be hung anywhere, be that in a car or on your person.

The different types of Omamori Charms

Traffic Safety (‘Koutsuanzen’) 交通安全
These are almost self-explanatory. You will find this particular omamori charm hanging off the dashboards and various parts of the cars belonging to taxi drivers, heavy vehicle drivers, and even students who have a looming driving test ahead of them (possibly along with the katsumori and the yakuyoke charms!).

Love (‘Enmusubi’) 縁結び
Love comes in all shapes and sizes, and in all forms and colors. It is also one of the most common charms to purchase and receive, and whether you’re in a relationship, married, there is definitely a charm for you to keep the romantic vibes going. If you’re single, hanging onto one of these just might bring you luck in the love department!

Luck-Boosting (‘Kaiun’) 開運
Rather than to ward off evil spirits and luck, this talisman is one to keep all year around to boost your luck and keep good luck and vibes surrounding you. These are a popular souvenir item and appeal to the public for their minimal exterior design, often showing only the name of the shrine or temple without much decoration.

Happiness (‘Shiawase’) 幸せ
This is quite a general talisman that almost anyone can purchase for themselves and their loved ones. The thought of keeping a happy omamori charm close at all times may be comforting to certain people and bring about a change of perspective.

Prosperity (‘Shoubai-Hanjou’) 商売繁盛
The shoubai-hanjou omamori charm commonly comes in the form of a yellow money bag, but if not, it is almost always yellow at the least! This charm is used mostly to help people with their finances. You’ll find them hanging from salarymen’s briefcases, student’s backpacks, etc. If you need help with investments, finding money, or even sales whilst shopping, these omamori charms are the perfect little partners.

Success (‘Katsumori’) 勝守
This is arguably one of the most popular types of charms across most Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. If you have a looming challenge or a big hurdle in your life ahead of you, this talisman is a great charm to keep around to help you overcome it.

Ward Away Evil (‘Yakuyoke’) 厄除け
Whilst the previous charm may have the goal of helping you reach great achievements, this omamori charm works in the manner to prevent potential evils from getting in the way of your success. If you’ve recently experienced a bad event or encounter, this charm will help you rid the aftermath.

Money (‘Shoubaihanjou’) 商売繁盛
This omamori can sometimes come in the shape of a money bag or is draped in yellow / orange palette – all in the intent to help you in the finance department. You may spot a few of these dangling from briefcases of salarymen striding through Nihonbashi. At some shrines there are omamori charms that are geared towards luck in finding money, inheritance, or even good deals while shopping. Whether or not these help your wallet recover more quickly from online shopping splurges remains in question.

Education & Learning (‘Gakugyou-Jouju’) 学業成就
Rather than for actual the results of learning itself, this is a charm that many students use as a form of encouragement for them to study hard, well and often. They often have these hanging from their backpacks all year round, whilst there is a different one specifically for taking tests and exams.

Family (‘Kanai-Anzen’) 家内安全
For those with families or who are becoming a family, this omamori charm provides protection to the household, prosperity, and safety and well-being to the entire family.

Omamori Etiquette

Where to keep it?

It is entirely up to you where you would like to keep your omamori charms, in Japan, no place tends to be off limits. We’ve seen them regularly hung inside vehicles, mostly from the central mirror. If you have a modified car with a rollcage or bucket seat with seatbelt gaps, these are other common places to hang them. Other common places can be from your backpack / handbag, or even inside your wallet or purse! Which is a sure-fire way of ensuring the charm will stay with you at all times.

With it does depend on what type of charm it is. For example, the traffic safety omamori charms usually hang inside the car offering protection directly to its purpose, whereas the money / fortune omamori charms are usually kept near oneself or in their wallets / purse to bring good fortune.

How long can I keep my Omamori for?

In Japan some people say you should only keep your omamori for a year or so before it needs to be replaced, whereas some families actually keep omamori charms for generations, and pass these intricate charms down to their children as they get older. This is a beautiful tradition to have and if it’s something that you’d love to do, we’re all for it! However in more western culture, omamori charms have taken more of a decorative seat on the shelf, and whilst there is no right or wrong to how long you keep one for, you may just fancy a style change once in a while.

Can I get more than one charm?

YES! There is no limit to how many charms you can keep on yourself, even by Japanese culture standards. However, like most things, overuse may take away some of the magic.

We offer 3 for 2 on all Japanese Omamori Charms, just add 3 of your favorites to your basket and the discount will automatically apply for you.

How do I look after my Omamori?

In Japanese culture, Priests believe that omamori charms will become damaged, dirty and get lost due the protection it is offering to it’s owner. This is also true for many items in life. With omamori charms, you can expect for there to be general wear and tear and that is perfectly normal. If it does become dirty, do not try and wash it, as this means you are washing away the protective power of the charm. If the string breaks, you can simply place it inside your bag, cup holder or wherever suitable to continue utilizing its protection.

Can I peek inside the Omamori Charm?

NO! This is considered disrespectful and it is believed that this act will release all of the luck and powers of the charms into the world. 

Article written by Anna (Team Editor).

If you would like to purchase an Omamori Charm, please visit our Omamori Shop.

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