At the seminar held in appreciation of Wendy Whited Sensei April 8-10, 2022, at Inaka Dojo in Beecher, Illinois, participants were each offered offered a small gift bag containing items of traditional Japanese art and design.
Each bag included a note:
Wendy Sensei loved all aspects of Japanese culture. In her several trips there, she could never resist the fabric arts or the small mementos from shrines, temples, sumo, and kabuki, bringing many home as small gifts for friends. By her request, those she didn’t have a chance to share are being given to her friends here . . .
These photos were contributed by various dojo members. Some of the gifts are a bit enigmatic, so Dwight Sora has helped us identify them!
A small brocade bag containing a prayer or religious inscription. These are sold at both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples and are often given as a gift of well-wishing. This one says it is a yakuyoke omamori (厄除御守) or good luck charm.
A round, red-painted good-luck doll in the shape of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism. According to one legend, Bodhidharma meditated for years without moving, eventually losing his arms and legs. Thus, the doll (which is designed to get back up when it falls due to its round shape) embodies the idea of perseverance.
Kōtsōanzen kaiun omamori
A lucky charm for safe driving.
and tenugui (手ぬぐい)
Furoshiki are pieces of fabric, usually a square, that are used for wrapping or carrying small items.
A Tenugui is a traditional hand towel. Both often feature decorative patterns.
A hand-carved wooden spinning top.
Also called susuwatari (ススワタリ), this little creature is a mythical sprite whose body is made of soot, as portrayed in the classic anime film My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ).