Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Health-related votive tablets from Japan : ema for healing and well-being / Peter A.G.M. De Smet ; Ian Reader.

  • Smet, Peter A. G. M. de
  • Books

About this work


"Many Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan sell small wooden votive tablets (ema) which are meant to be left on a rack at the sanctuary. The reverse of these tablets offers space to send a self-written wish or personal thank you message to the enshrined deity or buddha. Their front usually has a pre-printed or hand-painted design that is indicative of the intended purpose. In this book hundreds of contemporary ema designs for health-related purposes are reproduced and placed into their religious and biomedical context. A final chapter explores why there are differences between these purposes and current epidemiological patterns. This is the first book in English on the long-standing tradition of ema."--Cover page 4.


Leiden : Leiden Publications, [2017]

Physical description

240 pages : colour illustrations ; 27 cm


Published to accompany the exhibition held at Japan Museum SieboldHuis, March 17 - June 11, 2017.

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 231-234) and indexes.

Language note

In English with some translations into Japanese.


  • English
  • Japanese

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9789087282523
  • 9087282524