This spring Japan Museum SieboldHuis will present ‘Ema Tangible Prayers’, an exceptional exhibition of beautifully illustrated prayer tablets that give insight into this remarkable religious Japanese tradition. 200 ema from a private collection will be on display for all to admire.
In Japan ema can be found hanging in temples, shrines and pagodas as well as along foot paths, in homes and in holy places. In temples and shrines these tablets are often intended for the Buddha or Bodhisattva kami (gods). Ema tablets come in many shapes and forms however the most common shape is rectangular, with or without a frame. On the customarily wooden tablets images of temples, animals of the zodiac, or specific themes are painted or printed. Messages of a personal nature or wishes are written on the back of the tablet.
This exhibition shows ema tablets with specific wishes of a medical nature such as cures for hearing and vision ailments as well as haemorrhoids. Discover the diversity of the various illnesses for which ema tablets are used and leave your own message here in the former home of doctor Philipp Franz von Siebold.