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10/31/2011

Gankake - to make a wish

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Gankake 願掛け to make a wish, a wish-prayer

kigan 祈願 prayer, supplication, wish for something
negaigoto mamori 願い事守り amulet to make a wish

gankake ema 願掛け絵馬 votive tablet to make a wish

kigan jooju 祈願成就 prayer for realization of a heartfelt wish
..... taigan jooju 大願成就
..... shingan jooju 心願成就
wish has been fulfilled, prayer has been answered

People come to the deities (Shinto or Buddhist) to pray for something good to happen, like sucess in business, passing an examination etc.,
or for something bad, like a disease, to come to an end soon.


Thank you for letting me enter the school of my wish.

Once the wish has been fulfilled, they go back to the temple or shrine with
a thank-you prayer お礼参り o-rei mairi.


. MORE Amulets to make a wish . 


A more elaborate way to pray for something very important was the
. "100 prayers circuit" (百度参り hyakudo mairi) .


and then
a pilgirmage to 33 temples of Kannon Bosatsu or the longer pilgrimage to 88 temples

. Pilgrimage in Shikoku (henro 遍路) .

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Daruma Dolls with white eyes were sold during the New Years markets. The person who bought it or the priest at the temple had to paint one eye and cast a wish and after the year was over and the wish had come true, the other eye was painted and the doll then burned in a consecrating bonfire at the temple at Years End.
You then got a new one for the New Year and the circle begun again.

mangan Daruma 満願だるま
Daruma after the fulfillment of a wish


. Gankake Daruma 願掛けだるま .

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gankake nade omamori 願掛なで守 amulet to stroke
You stroke this amulet for seven days, three times a day, wishing your disease would heal . . .

From shrine Yakushi Jinja 薬師神社 at Miyajidake 宮地嶽
Fukuoka 福岡県福津市宮司元町7-1
This amulet helps with all kinds of diseases, since the shrine is dedicated to Yakushi, the Deity of Healing.
あらゆる病難から救う.
source : miyajidake.or.jp


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source : Yuko Yamauchi in "Joys of Japan"

gankake torii 願掛け鳥居
The wish is written on a miniature torii.
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine 伏見稲荷大社

. Fox Shrines of Japan .


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To make a wish or vow to the deities is an old custom in Japan and the reasons were manyfold, as the human live passed on.
This led to the temples and shrines proviging amulets and talismans for all kinds of vicissitudes in life.

To participate simply of the benevolence of the deities, one could "enforce" it
engi katsugi 縁起かつぎ "participate of the good fortune"
omajinai おまじない spell
jumon 呪文 incantation, spell


and all the many black and white spells and incantations inbetween.

For a "gankake" people did not only buy an amulet, but also made a vow to change something in their own life in return for a favor from the deities. Abstinence from alcohol is one popular way to make a stronger wish come true.
The "100 prayers circuit" and a pilgrimage were some of these actions.
Or buy senjafuda 千社札 "stickers for a thousand shrine visits" .
. senjafuda 千社札 stickers .


To make daily ablutions with cold water (gori 垢離) or live in abstinence and solitude (komori 篭り) were other means to get the attention and support of the deities.

To make offerings like stone lanterns, torii gates, straw sandals or a strain of your own cut hair were also popular in olden times.

A special problem occured when someone made a wish that had not come true yet (for example for a safe birth of a baby) and then died inbetween. To appease the deities the relatives now had to take special precautions.
gan modoshi 願もどし to take a wish back
..... gan hodoki 願ほどき


Here is a mysterious story I heared in a temple in Kamakura:
. Kakebotoke at temple Hokai-Ji .

There are many regional varieties of these prescriptions.


In the course of time many temples and shrines "specialized" in some wishes to come true, mostly depending on the deity in residence.
Nowadays we have long lists in the internet with special places to pray and wish for something. If you can not make the trip to a far-away place, you can even order amulets via the internet. But the most effective of them all is still the personal visit to the temple or shrine with the most powerful deity.

Sugawara Michizane and the many Tenmangu shrines are the best place to pray for passing an examination for school or university - that is maybe the most well-known specialist of all.

Before making a wish at a shrine you wash your hands at the basin, rinse the mouth and clean your hands. In front of the main shrine there are two bows, two times clapping the hands and one more bow. Prescriptions may vary from temple to shrine, so if you are serious about a wish, better contact the priest in residence and get proper instructions.


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gankake Daishi 願掛け大師 Kobo Daishi to make a wish

. Kobo Daishi, Kukai 弘法大師 空海 . .


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Fukagawa Fudo Temple 深川不動堂
Shusse Inari Shrine in the compound :
. . Gankake kitsune 願掛けきつね fox to make a wish .

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. Onegai Jizoo お願い地蔵 Jizo to make a wish .
gankake Jizo 願掛け地蔵


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. gankake Kannon Bosatsu 願掛け観音 .

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. gankake Fudo Myo-O 願掛不動明王 - List .

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quote
Gankake-iwa 願掛岩:
The Lover's Wishing Rock in Sai Village

It rises roughly 100 metres over the Tairadate Strait connecting Mutsu Bay to the Tsugaru straight and affords a fantastic view of both Aomori’s Tsugaru Peninsula and Hokkaido’s Oshima Peninsula. The first literary reference to Gankake-iwa was made in 1792 by some person of consequence passing by on his way to Hokkaido.

Apparently it was home to two shrines (one to Inari the fox god and one to Hachiman the god of war) and locals were already using the spot to hang up their love gankakes (prayer tags) together with cherry blossom “keys” in the hopes that their prayers would reach across the miles and unlock the hearts of their beloveds far away. Nowadays people attach padlocks to a wire mesh frame set up for that purpose between the two ciffs. Apparently the love connection stems from the popular opinion that from certain angles the two prongs of the rock look like a man and a woman embracing.


source : gaijinlore.blogspot.com

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gankakebashi 願掛橋 bridge to make a wish
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



Temples named Mangan-Ji 万願寺
. Reference .


Temple Kami Mangan-Ji 上万願寺 Hyogo
source : www.kamiman.com


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. gankake ushi 願かけ牛/ 願掛け牛 bull / ox for making a wish .
Sasebo, Nagasaki


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Prayer and Play in Late Tokugawa Japan:
Asakusa Sensoji and Edo Society

by Nam-Lin Hur

The unique amalgam of prayer and play at the Sensoji temple in Edo is often cited as proof of the "degenerate Buddhism" of the Tokugawa period. This investigation of the economy and cultural politics of Sensoji, however, shows that its culture of prayer and play reflected changes taking place in Tokugawa Japan, particularly in the city of Edo. Play was an integral part of the business of religion at Sensoji, and the temple supplied both in equal measure to often rootless Edoites.


. Reference .
also available as google book.


It is the power of this faith that has sustained temple Senso-ji 浅草寺 in the centuries since its foundation.
. Asakusa Kannon 浅草観音 .


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. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Reference .

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KIGO

mangansai 万願祭 (まんがんさい)
"festival of the fulfilled wish"

.... gangesai 願解祭( がんげさい)
mannen gan 万年願(まんねんがん)

gange odori願解踊(がんげおどり)
dance in honor of a fulfilled wish


keitoo odori 鶏頭踊(けいとうおどり)"cockscomb dance"
kigo for late spring

April 14
At the shrine Kame no O Yama Hachimangu 亀ノ尾山八幡宮 / 亀尾山八幡宮
Yamaguchi, Toyota cho town 山口県豊田町

The beginning dates back to the Edo period, when a time of an epidemy was stopped due to the offering of the Keito Odori dance at this shrine.

Way back in the legend of this region, the dance had been performed when the sungodess hid in a cave. People with a cockscomb on their head performed a dance and imitated the sound of a cock in the morning to make the sun rise.
When an emidemy struck during the Edo period, the scared, hopeless people revived this dance, with two men dancing with cocks masks on their head ... and the epidemy stopped, their wish was fullfilled (mangan).


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negai no ito 願の糸 (ねがいのいと) "string for wishes"

..... ganshi 願糸(がんし )
goshiki no ito 五色の糸(ごしきのいと)string of five colors
kigo for early autumn



This five-colored string is used during the Tanabata Star Festival to bind it to the bamboo pole.
Weavers use this to make a wish to become as skilfull as the "Weaver Girl" in the sky.
It was also added with a wish for long life, wealth and having many children.
Later the tansaku paper slips with written wishes were used.

The five Buddhist colors are white, black, yellow, red and blue.

. Tanabata 七夕 Star Festival .


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. ankake Daruma soup 2012 あんかけだるま .

a pun with gankake.
In three flavors !







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. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 


. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011

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