Japanese good luck decoration

By kei.sasaki, August 23, 2014

I noticed this decoration when I visited an acquaintance’s shop.
This kind of decoration is called “Engi-mono” in Japan.

“Engi-mono” are supposed to be auspicious and lucky charms, and often includes wit and humor.

There are many kinds of foods in this decoration.

“Daikon” : Japanese white radish
“Ninjin” : Carrot
“Ingen” : Green bean
“Mikan” : Mandarin orange
“Ginnan” : Ginkgo nut
“Nankin” : Pumpkin

All these foods contain the sound “ん”,  pronunciation like “ng” in there’s name.
“ん” is believed to mean “Lucky”.
There are so many lucky foods in this decoration, to wish good luck to visitors.

On this top, you can see a gold loop.
This is called “Mizuhiki”.

“Mizuhiki” is an ancient Japanese art form that looks wire but  is acutually made from paper.
It’s has been around since the Muromachi period.

Japanese paper is twisted by hand, and coated with a paste made from rice and water.

“Mizu” means water.
“Hiki” means coated and smoothed out.

It’s use on an occasions for both celebration and sorrow, but the method of tying is different in each case.

 

Kei

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