Japan is one of the attractive travel destinations. But it’s very tough to read the Japanese kanji on the souvenirs from the trip! (+_+)

So, KansaiChick is here for help! (*’▽’)/

These two pictures are the front and the back of one envelope. What do the kanji letters mean? I got it from a friend who doesn’t know what it is. My assumption is that is from a temple and maybe it’s used as a package for an omamori.

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs

OK! As you say, this is the envelope from the temple. At the temples and shrines, anybody can receive the amulets and the other items, for the votive money. They use this kind of plain white envelopes to wrap those.

The large kanji on the front of the envelope says “御守(omamori)”, and that means “Charm”, “Amulet”, and so on.

The word “Omamori” can be written as お守り or 御守り.

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs
a Charm for “Succeeding an Entrance Exam”

The wrapping envelope usually says which temple or shrine is this from. This one says “京都・金閣寺(Kyoto Kinkakuji)” and “石不動明王尊(ishi-fudoumyouou-son)”.

石(ishi) means stone. There is a famous stone 不動明王 statue in Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto, Japan. So, I can tell that somebody visited there and received a charm in this envelope. 尊(son) is the kanji that they sometimes put after the Buddha’s name.

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs
a 不動明王 statue (not from Kinkakuji!)

不動明王 is translated as “Acala (Wisdom King)”, “Acalanatha”, “Fudō Myōō”, “Fierce Buddhist Deity”. My personal image of 不動明王 is…a muscular manly guy with scary face and a sword. lol

By the way, did you notice that I’ve been using the word “receive” instead of “buy”? People can “buy” the charms and things at a “shop” in the shrines and temples in Japan. But this is the talking manner that pious people care. Σ(・ω・ノ)ノ!

We “receive” the blessing for the votive money. (@_@)

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs
授与所 “Juyosyo”
Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs
Charms at a Juyosho

So, the “shop” is called 授与所(juyosho). That means “the place to grant (blessing)”.

Even in Japanese people, not so many ones follow this manner. Well, but you are very sophisticated now! (*´Д`)

Thank you for the question!


Today’s Kanji Shirt is “Zen”! Temples are the perfect place for Zen training.

If you want to know the meanings of any Japanese kanji that you don’t see English subs for in a particular animation or live action movie, tell me “Name of the Show”, “Season and Episode #” and “the Exact Moment (Minute: Second) if it’s available”!

If it’s just Japanese kanji that you see around you, like a shop sign or a tattoo, you can send me the photo as long as you are allowed to take picture of it.

I can’t promise to reply to everyone but I’ll try my best!

Email to: info@kansaichick.com


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

    Leave a Reply

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