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Japan-made items with good luck charms and their meaning

 

 

There are diverse good luck charms in Japan. They are from religious beliefs or old culture derived from like Buddhism, Shinto, and Chinese culture. It is believed that as you hold the amulets, you would acquire good lucks. Therefore, they often become gifts for auspicious events, such as birthday, wedding, and childbirth.  

 

 

Sho-chiku-bai

 

Sho-chiku-bai literally means pine, bamboo, and plum. All three plants are known to have resistance against cold in winter, and because of that, they become symbols of growth and good fortune.

People choose the items with the pattern of Sho-chiku-bai for wedding gifts, and use Sho-chiku-bai items for new years. Also, Sho-chiku-bai sometimes intimates ranks. Sho, the pine, is known as the best, then chiku and bai follow. Some classy Japanese restaurants use the ranks for their menu.

 

 

SHO-CHIKU-BAI CHOPSTICK RESTS

 

Iron made chopstick rests imitating the plants of Sho-chiku-bai. They are made by traditional casting in Yamagata Prefecture called Yamagata-imono. The cast iron chopsticks are enduring so that they could be used for many years.

 

 

KIYOMIZU-YAKI PAIR OF SHO-CHIKU-BAI RICE BOWL

 

They are a pair of rice bowls with Sho-chiku-bai pattern. The style of the pottery is called Kiyomizu-yaki, which derived in old city of Kyoto in the Edo period. Kiyomizu-yaki usually has colorful and bright patterns. Following the style, the rice bowls also have colorful Sho-chiku-bai on their sides. The patterns are all hand painted.

 

 

Gourds

 

The plant of gourds is also known as good luck charm. Originally, the idea of the charm came from Chinese culture, and it has been believed from the Edo period which started in 1603 in Japan. The origin of gourd charm is actually from wordplay. "Mu-byo," which means six gourds in Japanese, also means "healthy life." Because Japan uses different Kanji for several words that have the same pronounce,  it is possible to make this kind of wordplay.  Nowadays, gourds become a good luck charm for health and longevity.

 

 

KUTANI SMALL BOWLS GOURD PATTERN

 

Here are Kutani ware bowls with hand-painted gourds. Kutani ware is traditional porcelain in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. The small bowls are useful for side dishes and dessert. 

 

 

Shippou

 

Shippou literally means seven treasures in Japanese. It refers to the treasures of Buddhism, that is, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, agate, seashell, amber, and coral. The pattern is drawn by overlapping circles that indicate infinite prosperity, harmony and peace. 

 

 

Pendant 七宝

PENDANT SHIPPOU

 

Bisai's pendant has a finely drawn pattern of Shippou on a pearl oyster. Bisai uses urushi, that is, traditional Japanese lacquer, and gold dust to display the pattern. High skills are needed to draw the pattern with a thin brush and make the pendant look nice and elegant. 

 

 

守袋 七宝

DRAWSTRING BAG SHIPPOU

 

It is a tiny drawstring bag with a dyed Shippou pattern. The brand PONPINDO passes down the traditional way of dyeing, that is, stencil dyeing. Artisans apply pigments on fabric using a small brush and mold to dye. 

 

 

Beckoning cat

 

A beckoning cat, as known as Maneki-neko in Japanese is a common figurine that is believed to bring happiness. The cat is usually made of porcelain raising one of the paws. It is said that the beckoning cat raising the right paw brings good fortune with money, and the one with the left paw raised brings more customers and good business. A beckoning cat is now recognized as good luck charm for business. 

 

招猫 鈴なり(左手 金鈴)

KUTANI BECKONING CAT(RIGHT HAND)

 

KUTANI CHOEMON's beckoning cat is made of white porcelain with detailed hand-painting.

 

 

招猫 鈴なり(左手 金鈴)

BECKONING CAT(LEFT HAND)

 

The right paw raised cat is painted with colorful fruits that symbolize harvest. The left paw raised cat is painted in gold and calmly smiles at us.

 

 

 

 

Click here to find more Japanese products 

 

 

 

Guide for international shipping on ZUTTO

 

投稿者: Ueda 日時: 2019年11月18日 11:00 | permalink

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