Ema or Shinto Plaques

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The Mingei Museum in Balboa Park recently opened an exhibition featuring Japanese arts and crafts. On one wall was this beautiful collection of Emas or Shinto Prayer Plaques.

MINGEI OF JAPAN: TREASURES NEW AND OLD FROM THE MUSEUM’S COLLECTION: APRIL 2, 2016 – OCTOBER 2, 2016

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I shared my photos from this exhibition with my students. We talked about the idea of folk arts and why people might create plaques like this asking for prayers. The students and I talked about how we could take this idea of Emas and create our own wishing plaques.

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They wished for the most amazing things from world peace, to saving water, to healing family members. They created their own frames and then did the illustrations. They put their wishes on the back. We used donated brown paper, oil pastels, and some chose to add tempera paint.

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