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Unknown maker
Omikuji Bako (Paper Fortune Box) Omikuji Bako (Paper Fortune Box)
no date no date

Paper fortune boxes are popular in Shinto and Buddhist Shrines across East-Asia; however, this one’s origin can be gleaned from its Japanese characters which translate to “tortoise box” (alluding to the widespread Japanese belief that the turtle is a positive omen that brings 10,000 years of happiness, longevity, and good fortune). To use it, the box is shaken until one stick pops out of the small hole at one end. The number at the top of the stick is read and a fortune slip is taken from a drawer with the matching number. These fortune slips typically contain a simple fortune such as “good luck,” “bad luck,” “half blessing,” etc., but certain shrines and temples may have more specific fortunes on topics such as love, career, etc. Because of its size and aesthetic complexity, this specific box was most likely commissioned for a person or family to use as a personal and portable fortune teller.

 
Unknown maker
Omikuji Bako (Paper Fortune Box) Omikuji Bako (Paper Fortune Box)
no date no date
wood, lacquer wood, lacquer
height / width: 12.00 x 3.50 cm; 4.72 x 1.38 in.
unknown source unknown source
M77-137

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