Mamoribukuro -Japanese traditional amuletbag-
"Amulet bag". These tiny cloth bags are worn around the neck, and they contain charms believed to guard the wearer against evil, as well as to attract good fortune. The bags are hand - dyed in rich, colorful patterns and symbols that were created by Japanese craftsmen during the Edo period. Those symbols were born out of that period's unique popular culture, as well as its religious feelings. Each symbol has a name that is a word play or pun reflecting Edo civilization's highly developed sense of humor and irony.
Mt. Fuji. Since ancient times believed to be a spiritual mountain. The name is also a pun on the Japanese word "Fuji", meaning "peerless, unparalleled". This logo is believed to invoke the fulfillment of one's heartfelt desire for happiness.
Pine tree. Stays green throughout the year, hence it is a symbol of long life. This image is a talisman for good health and longevity.
Small mallet. Mallet used for hammering precious metals into coins or ornaments. An invocation of commercial prosperity and success.
"Plover (sea bird)". Same sound as the word for "get a thousand things", i.e., get rich. Plovers are symbols of attaining a goal, gaining success.
Bottle gourd. The Japanese word for six gourds sounds like the word for "no sickness", hence the image stands for passing through life with no illness and no misfortune.
Bamboo. A plant that is always green and grows rapidly, therefore a symbol of prosperity. Bamboo is hard to break, therefore it stands for a promise of endurance, invincibility and the achievement of goals.
"Welcoming cat". Restaurant figurines with the right paw raised to welcome customers (for Japanese, the right hand raised is a gesture of invitation). They also invite good business, good luck and peace into the premises.
Die/dice. One side of a die (its "eyes") always appears face - up whichever way the dice are thrown. In Japanese, "eye appears" also means, "To have good luck". It also has the same sound as the words for "To sprout, bud, flourish". By extension, the image of dice invokes a wish for "job success or victory".
Dragon. This pattern depicts a dragon emerging from auspicious clouds, a symbol of good fortune. Since ancient times this mythical animal has stood for successful growth or expansion. This creature is believed to have the power to ward off evil. The pattern symbolizes business success, as well as protection from misfortune.
Early bracken. Buds push up early in spring from under the snow and represent the unquenchable natural force of life, good health and full development.
Message on Japanese Plum Blossom. The Japanese plum tree symbolizes intellect. The emblem for this tree also incorporates “knotted letters”, a custom going back to Heian times. Folded paper strips with written messages are tied to tree branches. The messages express affection or a desire to reveal one’s emotions to someone. They represent a desire to establish successful connections with people and things.
Japanese iris. Long believed to ward off evil. In Japanese this word as the same sound as the word for victory, therefore this logo invokes success and avoidance of misfortune.
"Puffed-up sparrow". Sparrows with their feathers puffed up look cute, and appear very fat, so they symbolize wealth. Sparrows are often featured on kimono belts.
The dog has lived close to man since the earlier times.
Its image has been depicted in many kinds of crafts and arts. The dog is thought to expel wickedness and is also called the guardian god of easy child birth and child raising up. It symbolizes the wish for protection from evil and the wish for untroubled child birth.
Dragonfly. Dragonflies by nature dash straight ahead in their movements, hence this pattern is associated with the idea of " Unconquerable resolve." In the Warring States period(ciruca 1600)the design was favored because it signified bravery. Warriors who conducted flying raids on the enemy and gathered booty were called kachimushi
" victory bugs." The dragonfly pattern symbolizes the prayer for victory and success.
"Chrysanthemum" is said to be the "King of Hundred Flowers" and is considered to be the most noble of all flowers. In China, it has been cultivated for medicinal purposes since ancient times, and has been cherished as a herbal medicine for immortality and longevity. A pattern that symbolizes good health, long life and protection from evil.
Associated with the Japanese proverb, "Fall seven times, rise eight times." In other words, never be defeated by failure, never be disheartened by barriers but work with all one's might to overcome them. Daruma is an icon that invokes the wish for fulfillment of cherished dreams, the achievement of distant goals against great odds.
Daruma. A 5th century monk thought to be the founder of Zen Buddhism in China. Tradition holds that he sat in continuous meditation for nine years until achieving enlightenment, but in doing so he lost the use of both legs, which rotted away. His stubborn persistence came to epitomize the Japanese ideal of standing up again no matter how often you fail, or the proverb, "Fall seven times, rise eight times." Daruma dolls seen everywhere in Japan symbolize this notion. Their round, weighted bottoms enable them to stand up every time they are knocked over.
Egg plant. The same sound in Japanese as the word for "succeed, accomplish", hence it is a pattern that invites good fortune.
Rabbit. A prolific animal, therefore a symbol of frequent and easy child birth. Since ancient times the rabbit was also thought to be a guardian spirit against fire.
Bells. Since ancient times it has been thought that ringing bells expel all evil influences, as well as evoke the help of divine spirits. This pattern symbolizes the power to word off evil fates and evoke good destiny.
Fishing nets. This pattern represents nets being hauled up by fishermen for drying. By analogy the act of reeling in fishing nets becomes symbolic for actions that haul in or evoke good fortune and good marriage match.The peaceful scene by the sea shore often provides designs for Kimonos and other products of craftsmanship. This pattern is intended to evoke good destiny also wealth and happiness.
Persimmon, Pun on the Japanese expression, "joy arrives", which has the same sound. This image is believed to endow good luck.
One item in a chain of traditional emblem. A link symbolizing " Peace and Perfection" express by endless repetition as well as unending prosperity and unending success of descendants. Also prayers to word off evil and activities for bringing good luck.
"Cloud board". This is a cloud - shaped gong used in Zen temples to strike the hours of the day. The sound of the gong being struck is said to drive out evil influences. This image invokes good influences and exorcises bad ones.
"Mice". Lucky animals thought to be messengers of the god of wealth. They bring prosperity into anyone's house.
"Crane" is one of Japan's representative auspicious patterns, and is known as a pattern that symbolizes longevity and good luck.