As keen followers of Japanese culture and traditions may already know, the most important winter festival in Japan is not Christmas as in many Western nations, but the New Year! In the festive spirit of international exchange, then, we at HYPER JAPAN have decided to infuse a beloved Japanese New Year’s tradition with a little Western Christmas twist. The result? A never-before-seen “ema” Christmas tree!
“But what on earth are ema?” we hear you cry. Well, if you’ve ever been to a Japanese shrine (or even a temple), chances are that you will have seen them! Ema are little wooden plaques on which visitors to Japanese shrines write wishes or prayers, typically on special occasions such as New Years. These are then hung up on a designated board within the shrine grounds for the local deity to muse over. On one side of the plaque you’ll find a picture which differs depending on the shrine – these can range from the current year’s zodiac animal to depictions of scenes from local folklore, and nowadays there are even many ema which feature anime or cartoon characters such as Rirakkuma!
So why not join in this lovely tradition, and write your Christmas wish on our specially designed HYPER JAPAN ema and hang it on our Christmas tree! You never know – the deities which frequent our Christmas Market and give joy to festive shoppers might just see fit to grant your request…
HYPER JAPAN ema will be available in both standard logo and “maneki neko” (beckoning cat) versions – so make sure you hurry over to our Christmas tree to grab your favourite design!