Activity Sheet Make Your Own Paper Ema

Make Your Own Paper Ema

Activity Sheet Make Your Own Paper Ema

Ema (lit. ‘picture horses’) are palm-sized wooden tablets seen at shrines throughout Japan. Typically, shrinegoers write prayers or wishes on them and hang them at the shrine as offerings. In the Hida Takayama region of Gifu Prefecture, featured in Japan House London’s current exhibition ‘The Carpenters’ Line’, ema are made from washi (lit. ‘Japanese paper’) and decorated with a picture of a horse. 

Make your own paper ema with a template created by Ikemoto-ya, a famed ema-maker based in Takayama City. Decorate the horse with lucky patterns, add prayers for good fortune and good health and display the completed ema at the entrance of your home to invite in good luck. Remember to hang the ema with the horse’s head facing inwards, so as to carry good fortune inside.  

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We encourage everyone to share their completed ema on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #japanhouselondon and tagging us using @japanhouseldn.