At the Yushima Tenmangu Shrine, families express their wishes for success on wooden “ema tablets,” right. The Tokyo shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, the deity of learning. Messages, which are hung at the shrine, include sentiments such as “May my wishes come true” and “Sure to pass.”
Above, special candies bearing the message “gokaku” (passing exams) are currently in circulation. This batch was made at Kintaro Ame Honten in Tokyo. The candy, made in long bars that are cut into pieces, is popular among test-takers.
It’s entrance exam season in Japan, and students and their families are turning to tradition in hopes of beckoning a bit of good luck to boost success. Above, good luck “daruma” (tumbling dolls) are sold to visitors of the Yushima Tenjin Shrine in Tokyo.