Whenever I visit a shrine in Japan, I always make sure to check out their section of お守り (omamori). Omamori are amulets/good luck charms that are meant to help or protect the holder. Most shrines offer a variety of omamori, though some places may be known for a particular kind. This post and this post do an excellent job of explaining more about the types of omamori you can find and some information about them.
What I want to know is if you believe in them or have noticed any changes of luck by having one with you (if you have experience with one). It is said that when the omamori breaks, it is because they have fulfilled their purpose. I personally have 3.5 times where my omamori has broken and the things I wanted happened. Let’s examine these events and then decide.
Case #1 – Dreams Come True
While hiking Mt.Takao, I bought two omamori. One was for a wish to come true and one was for love (I thought it looked cute). I immediately attached the one for wishes to my keys and lost the love omamori in my room. I made the wish to find a job so I could stay in Japan longer. I didn’t expect the omamori to do all the work for me, so of course, I applied myself to the task as well. However, every chance I got, I would touch my omamori, repeat my wish, and keep up wth my search. My school semester was about to end soon, so I was starting to feel pressure. When I had about a month left until the end of the semester, my omamori broke. Following that, I had my first few leads with interviews, but they all fell through. Then, literally two weeks before I had to move out, I found a position. It would require me to move to Saitama from Tokyo, but life is an adventure, so I took it. The day after my final, I moved to Saitama and two days later on Monday, I started my new role.
Case #2 – I’m Not Here For Love
Having to move is a great way to find things you forgot about. In this case, I stumbled upon that previously mentioned love omamori. This is the one that is supposed to give you luck in finding a special human. I had been on a date in Tokyo and also tried talking to a few people, but no progress was ever made. That was fine with me too because my goal wasn’t to find a boyfriend or anything. So, I put my omamori on my phone just so I could listen to the bell jingle constantly. Fast forward to July during my town’s summer matsuri (festival). I’m minding my business, helping to carry the mikoshi and absorb all the culture happening in front of me. It isn’t often new people get the experience of participating in a matsuri, so having a behind the scenes look was exciting. It’s mostly a lot of men during this time, though there are a few women helping as well. One guy, in particular, decided that day that I was his type. I’m not going to touch the topic of love at first sight, I just brushed it off since being liked simply for being a foreigner is common here.
The only reason I decided to consider giving him a chance was thanks a local Auntie swooped in to figure out my preferences and advocate on his behalf by giving me a rundown of his dating life. I suspect that she was the one who encouraged him to walk me home when I left as well. He ended up asking me on a date and not long after that my omamori broke. We’re still dating.
Case #3 – Safety First!
I’ve been carrying an omamori in the shape of a Japanese randoseru (backpack elementary students use in Japan) for safety on my commute. I ride my bike to work every day and sometimes I have close encounters with cars. This is probably fairly normal. My omamori broke, however, right after my Spartan Race in Chiba as I was heading to the train to go home. I’m sure this was a coincidence, but my train line was delayed due to an accident! Was my omamori really looking out for me?
Case #4 – Still in Progress
A few days after my safety omamori broke, my 2nd one for dreams to come true broke as well. I don’t quite remember what I wished for as I have a couple of things I would love to happen at the moment (like passing the JLPT N2 this time around). Hopefully, I’ll be able to update soon with more information on something I wished for coming true.
My personal opinion is that omamori might give you that little extra push to work harder towards whatever your goal is. So while I believe you still have to put in work, there’s no harm in believing in a little bit of magic, right?
What do you think? Are omamori the real deal or not?