- Museum number
Amulet (omamori) (a) in the shape of a plastic green cucumber and a bell attached to a synthetic multi-coloured cord. The cucumber-shaped container unscrews (b: base) and contains a minute golden amulet (c) representing the deity Monju riding a mythical lion. On the side of the cucumber are written the place-names Amanohashidate and Monju-do and the amulet's function (to avert illness.
The amulet is sold mounted on a card (d) which is printed with place-names, Amanohashidate and Monju-do, as well as added information on the amulet's function.
- Production date
Diameter: 1.40 centimetres (base b)
Height: 10.40 centimetres (amulet a)
Height: 1.30 centimetres (base b)
Height: 0.80 centimetres (charm c)
Length: 13 centimetres (card d)
Weight: 4 grammes (amulet a)
Weight: 1 grammes (base b)
Weight: 2 grammes (card d)
Weight: 1 grammes (charm c)
Width: 2.60 centimetres (amulet a)
Width: 4.10 centimetres (card d)
Width: 0.40 centimetres (charm c)
Depth: 1.40 centimetres (amulet a)
Depth: 0.20 centimetres (charm c)
- Curator's comments
- Omamori are amulets that are carried about the person. They are bought primarily in temples and shrines throughout Japan and usually carry its name as well as specifications on their protective function. They are most commonly made of little silk pouches that contain a piece of paper with a stamp or prayer and sometimes an image. However, it is considered bad luck to open them and many are sealed. The omamori in this collection have not been opened.
The function of an amulet is indicated in a variety of ways, through writing, symbolism and visual puns.
The sound of bells wards off evil.
Cucumbers are thought to have curative virtues and generally associated getting rid of diseases.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Acquired for the BP Showcase Exhibition on 'Souvenirs in Contemporary Japan'. British Museum Department of Ethnography; field collection.
- Registration number