Have you ever wondered what these stickers are in Japanese temples and shrines?

During the Edo period (1603 to 1868), visiting temples and shrines to make a wish for their well-being was popular among the people at the time. People offered a wooden board called “Senja-fuda” when visiting a shrine, and today it has become an interesting sticker.

senja-fuda


【Contents】
1.What does the sticker stand for?
2.Beautiful and fashionable stickers
3.Make your own, original stickers!

What does the sticker stand for?

Have you ever seen stickers at Japanese temples and shrines? They are called “Senja-fuda”, and indicate a person’s name, origin, and other information. People paste it in hopes for good well-being, and it is said that god will bless them while the sticker is fresh. It is also believed that it’s a good sign if the name on the sticker remains intact as the paper around it degrades over time. It originally started as a custom among common people to write poems and wishes on a wooden board as an offering to temples and shrines, where they attached them to halls, ceilings, and pillars

Senja-fuda pasted at the upper part of a temple
Senja-fuda pasted at the upper part of a temple

Beautiful and fashionable stickers

The Senja-fuda became popular among people as entertainment, with beautifully decorated stickers that use multicolored printing. There are even fan clubs where people exchange stickers. For this reason, multicolored stickers are called exchange-stickers, or “Kookanfuda”.
In Kyoto, Geisha give out these stickers, which indicate their name, to customers on the street. There are a variety of stickers with seasonal flower printing, zodiac signs, toys, tools, and many others. These fashionable stickers are called flower-cards or “Hanameishi”, and the tradition still continues today.

Geisha
Geisha in Kyoto

Make your own, original stickers!

Senja-fuda is still produced today and there are many types of patterns. They still sell the old-fashioned wooden cards as well as more modern wooden Senja-fuda key chains and stickers.
There is a shop called “Stock+” in Kabukicho (near Ginza), where you can make your own original Senja-fuda. The service supports foreign visitors, so you can create your name in Kanji characters! It’s an interesting service!

【Stock+】Website ※An online shop is also available

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AUTHOR

kyoami

kyoami

Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.

Information

Address 1F Nankai Tokyo Building, 5-11-1 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo 〒104-8238
Hours Weekdays/10:00〜20:00 First and Third Saturdays / 12:00~18:00
Price -
Close Sat, Sun and National Holidays
Access Exit No. 6 Subway and Toei Asakusa Line Higasi Ginza station
Phone 03-5565-3438
Language Japanese
English
Website https://sv02.wadax.ne.jp/~stock-plus-com/senjafuda/strup_kifuda-e.html