Saturday, May 26, 2018

Yuzuru Hanyu prayer plates

服部天神に羽生の絵馬
Yuzuru Hanyu Ema at Hattori Tenjin

Yuzuru Hanyu is one of the world's most famous figure skaters. He is Japanese but he lives in Canada to focus on his training. He has won many major championships and he won gold medals in two Winter Olympics; 2018 and 2014. During the 2018 Olympics it was revealed that Hanyu was still recovering from an ankle injury and was performing while in pain.
In Japan, Hanyu was very much the star of the 2018 Winter Olympics, earning the most Twitter mentions.
He arrived in Korea in on February 11th and gave gold medal performances on February 16th. On the 18th it was announced that he had been on pain relievers during the performance due to an injury from November.
On March 7th it was announced that Hanyu was withdrawing from the World Figure Skating Championships. While recovering and enjoying media attention after the Olympics, Hanyu was featured in performance which collected other notable ice skaters who performed for him.

Clearly, Hanyu had the most famous foot injury in the world at the time. In Kansai there is a shrine that is dedicated to foot injuries. This shrine became a hub for prayers directed at Japan's star athlete.

Hattori Tenjin shrine, in northern Osaka features special ema, a collection of donated footwear, and a ceremonial throne where visitors can rest their feet at ease on an array of therapeutic stones.

Below is a collection of photos from Hattori Tenjin Shrine collected in mid-May.

Fans dedicating a lot of effort to decorate an ema with cute flourishes and a photo of Hanyu.

Wishing Hanyu a speedy recoving and thanking him for earning an Olympic gold medal.

More ema plates wishing Hanyu a speedy recovery.
Note that the ema is shaped like a sandal, usually the prayers on written on the back side while the front side has pre-made designs on the front.

The gallery is covered with ema. Many of these are dedicated to Hanyu.

Hoping for Hanyu to recovery from his injury one day soon.

Old shoes, slippers sandals and strings of paper crane chains.

Note the front of the ema plates with various designs.
Note the two designs which have sandal designs.
Also note the cow plate in the lower corner; the cow is generally emblematic of Tenjin shrines.


Various sandal charms on the wall of the shrine.











References
https://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/column/naniwa/news/201712300000585.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuzuru_Hanyu

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