Book Release and Exhibition at Japan Museum SieboldHuis

Ema are small wooden votive tablets which are meant to be left on a rack at the sanctuary, many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan sell them. The reverse of these tablets offers space to send a self-written wish or personal thank you message to the enshrined deity or buddha. Their front usually has a pre-printed or hand-painted design that is indicative of the intended purpose.

In Health-related Votive Tablets from Japan. Ema for Healing and Well-being hundreds of contemporary ema designs for health-related purposes are reproduced and placed into their religious and biomedical context. A final chapter explores why there are differences between these purposes and current epidemiological patterns. This is the first book in English on the long-standing tradition of ema.

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This spring Japan Museum SieboldHuis will present Ema Tangible Prayers, an exceptional exhibition of beautifully illustrated prayer tablets that give insight into this remarkable religious Japanese tradition.  200 ema from a private collection will be on display for all to admire.