Travel - Robert Downie
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Japanese Ema

Fat cats adorn wooden wishing plaques at a shinto shrine in Tokyo. The plaques are known as Ema 絵馬, translated as 'picture horse', and are intended to bring luck to the person who hangs them. These plaques funnel a long tradition that started during the 8th century Nara period where people donated horses, seen as the “vehicles of gods”, to the shrines to assist with their prayer. Over the subsequent years due to the financial cost of horses, the tradition shifted first to pictures of horses on wood, and eventually to pictures of other animals. Tokyo, Japan.