Japanese good luck charms for the New Year, Hamaya

The Japanese lucky charms came in many forms and sizes, from phone straps to full-sized arrows, like these ones, photographed at the Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto.

Usually sold at Shinto shrines only during the first days of the year, these decorative wooden “demon-breaking” arrows (hamaya in Japanese) are made to be displayed inside the house, and are meant to keep away the bad spirits.


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