Ita-Shinto Prayer Plaques


The otaku desire to decorate as much of the otherwise normal world with moe pictures knows few bounds, as demonstrated by the growing amount of ita-ema  on display at Shinto shrines. (Ema are wooden plaques with prayers written on them and offered at shrines or temples for the gods to read.)

New Years is an especially active time for ema offerings, and pictures of some ita-ema have become available online and are shown below.

The photos below are from 神田明神 / Kanda Myoujin, a shrine particularly close to Akihabara – I’m sure the priests enjoy the proximity to otaku-land…


An especially well-done ema of a maid, by doujinshi artist Orimoto Mimana.

He seems to be playful with his writing, as the above ema carries the amusing pun: “Maid in Japan”, and his C75 Kannagi doujin was named “Nagi-sama Recycle”.


“I wish that I can score with an itasha girl.”

Apparently a prayer to meet a rare female owner of an itasha?


“I wish that the Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka DVDs sell well.”

Perhaps he works for the studio?


“I wish that good things happen this year, anything at all would be fine.”

A fairly good drawing, Akiba Blog wonders if it’s by a pro or doujin artist?

There are others available online, some as accomplished as the ema of the maid shown above, but the most concentrated location of high quality ita-ema will likely remain the real-life Lucky Star town of Washinomiya for the foreseeable future:




More Lucky Star ema viewable at our previous article.

Pictures courtesy of Akiba Blog and Anata ga Suki Desu.

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    Comment by Orcinus
    23:06 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If I could grab hold of an ema, I'd write this:


    Comment by Cart
    22:04 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    haha I went yesterday!
    Was pretty interresting in its own way, and the shrines are very nice looking!
    Had to eat a choco cornet before leaving through...

    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    00:13 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    We hope that the gods will be pleased

    Comment by Tatsu
    06:05 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i dunno if the gods will be pissed or greatly entertained...

    May be both actually... Anyways something tells me the normal japanese may not be too happy with these..

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:55 13/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Why is it that all of the people that do this so good at drawing? Why are there no totally pitiful attempts?
    If this were the U.S. or something, it would be a sea of crap surrounding one or two good ones.

    Comment by BuggyBY
    14:02 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have to wonder why there's a maid ema, but no Emma ema.

    Comment by Orcinus
    22:59 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's a good pun!

    Avatar of shockerz
    Comment by Tommy
    18:52 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    These are very well drawn how can I get one?

    Avatar of Quen
    Comment by Quen
    21:37 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Axquiring one would be a tall order, I'm afraid. Pulling them off their stands at a temple would not be taken very well.

    Comment by ChrisK
    23:07 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The same thing happens at the shrine in the "real" Hinamizawa (Shirakawa-go) village: []

    Comment by iragedsohard
    15:02 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Woah, almost got me there.

    Avatar of Matteas
    Comment by Matteas
    23:20 04/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, Shirakawa is another target of otaku trips, just like Washinomiya. There are even some videos of ema plaques in Hinamizawa on YouTube.

    Comment by butok
    Avatar of onikiri
    Comment by onikiri
    00:52 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I wish I was there, making a wish too

    Comment by Spoony Bard
    01:09 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah, if only Western countries had such traditions. All America does for New Years is make resolutions and get drunk out of our minds.

    Avatar of Kusingia
    Comment by kusinga
    03:14 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Drunk out of their minds is more like it.

    Comment by flip
    10:30 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow, they're drawn pretty good =)

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    05:31 05/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    When the gods get these their gonna be fapping hard XD

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