Ema – 絵馬 | japan information
Ema (絵馬: picture horse) are small wooden plaques, in which Shinto and Buddhist worshippers write prayers or wishes.
It is called a picture horse because it is believed that horse carry messages to the gods. In most shrines in Japan, anyone can freely purchase Ema at the Juyusho, on which they can write their personal wishes in whatever language they want to. Afterwards they can leave the Ema hanging up at the shrine, to wait for the gods to accept the wishes and prayers. Interestingly, Ema has different design depending on the shrine. For example, the Ema sold in Meiji Shrine is decorated with the seal of Japan.