All TopicsNewsTravelAnimeKawaii CharactersKawaii FashionJapanese StationeryMember Spotlight
YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogMake A Wish! Unique & Kawaii Ema Designs

Make A Wish! Unique & Kawaii Ema Designs

By James
December 24, 2021

The History

In the 8th century, offering a horse to the gods was believed to make a wish come true, as horses were prized as sacred. Nobles used real horses at first but it was a burden to the shrines. Eventually they sculpted true-to-size figures from wood. 

Over time, this ritual was simplified and the sculptures became illustrations of horses on large wooden plates, and finally the reasonably sized ema that we know today came to light. 

If your wish comes true, it’s common practice to revisit the same shrine that you placed the ema at, and either write a new wish on a new plaque or simply say a prayer of gratitude. People often wish for good luck on exams, health, happiness, fortune, or any sort of wish to help make their dreams come to fruition.

Modern Day Updates

Recently shrines produce unique illustrations with zodiac animals or famous local sights. There are even blank ema so that visitors may create their own. The traditional ema design that includes a horse will never go out of style and you won’t find a shrine without one. However, it’s quite fun to see each year what new kinds of takes on this beloved tradition have been brought about.

There’s no need to go far for the best kawaii Japanese goods! YumeTwins sends them straight from Japan to your door each month!

Itaema

Source

This word literally means ‘painful ema’, as it describes the understandably sacrilegious feeling that these bring about. Instead of writing a wish, one decorates and illustrates the ema to their liking. This can lead to all sorts of unique and interesting designs, such as anime characters, caricatures, kawaii animals, or a picture related to their wish.

Kawaii Ema

Source

These ema gain more and more popularity each year, as they’re colorful, bright, and help participants express their personalities through their favorite characters. 

Zodiac Animal Ema

Source

Designed differently each year depending on which year of the Zodiac the upcoming year is, these are a perennial favorite. Designs can be whimsical or very lifelike, but are a good combination of tradition and modernity as the designs are generally not repeated from previous years.

Our Own Original Ema

Meet our in-house design, featured in January 2022’s YumeTwins box! Ideal for those who can’t make it to Japan at the moment, the YumeTwins Original Ema Decoration has a sweet little unicorn for a magical YumeTwins twist. Using pastel pinks and purples with hints of yellow and blue, we hope you’ll be able to use it to remember your goals each day of the year! 

We recommend trying to visit during the New Year’s season for the first shrine or temple visit of the year, called hatsumode. This is when there are the most unique ema designs and you’ll have plenty of variety to help find the perfect one that’s most suitable for you!

Let us know your favorite types of ema designs in the comments below! 

Enjoy Popular Japanese Kawaii Merchandise Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD
Get YumeTwins
Author avatar
James

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enjoy Popular Japanese Kawaii Merchandise Every Month!

Starting from $32.50 USD
Get YumeTwins

Related Articles

Domo-Kun: Japan’s Lovable TV Mascot

July 01, 2022

There’s no doubt that Japan is famous for having a lot of kawaii and special mascots, like Kumamon and Funassyi. In Japan, a mascot can be a symbol of some spiritual thing, a prefecture, a company, or even events, like the Tokyo 2020 Olympics mascots.

GBL Store: The Studio Ghibli Store for Adults

June 09, 2022

Want a Studio Ghibli store that will make your heart happy but your wallet cry? Check out this store in Shibuya aimed at adult audiences!

Seven Tokyo Animal Cafes For Cute Furry Friends

June 07, 2022

Living in a bustling city like Tokyo, you might feel tired after a long day of work and travel. There are many ways to unwind after a stressful day, but one fun and interesting way you might already know is going to cafes.

YumeTwins’ Guide to Japanese UFO Catchers

May 26, 2022

Want to test your skills out on a Japanese UFO Catcher? Here are some tips for beating the machine and winning kawaii prizes!

Spirited Away Characters and Japanese Mythology

May 21, 2022

We all love Studio Ghibli for its magical world enhanced by the beautiful cinematic art and lovely characters. But what makes Ghibli’s animation widely recognized worldwide is how it manages to express the depth and beauty of Japanese culture in each film.

What is Cosplay? A Look Into Japan’s Unique Pop Culture

May 01, 2022

Apart from sushi and sakura (Japanese cherry blossoms), cosplay is one of the most common terms when referring to Japan.

YumeTwins logo

Be a YumeTwins Insider!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive kawaii news!


Facebook
Instagram

Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available

YumeTwins Logo

Be a YumeTwins Insider!

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive kawaii news!

Facebook
Instagram

Copyright © 2022 YumeTwins™. All Rights Reserved.
Accepted Payments
Visa payment availableMastercard payment availableAmerican Express payment availableDiscover payment availablePayPal payment available