When the power of Japanese protection amulets backfires

Source: grapee.jp

When visiting a temple in Japan, many visitors seek out omamori to take home with them and obtain good luck from. Often translated as “protection amulets” or “protection charms”, the small pouch amulets are meant to offer good fortune in pursuing goals such as number passing exams, wealth, health, safe childbirth, etc., and feature a corresponding kanji on the front representing that goal.

Source: kouta / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

Nyasu (@nyasufuji) may be thinking they picked up a different kind by mistake, however. The Japanese Twitter user recently was set into a panic by the amulet they had gotten to curry good fortune, when they noticed it was carrying the power of possibly starting a fire in their car!

Nyasu shared a video of the phenomenon occurring where they had set up the amulet near their car’s rear window:


※この後すぐ外した pic.twitter.com/6mBXUGTd5N

— にゃす( ΦωΦ ) (@nyasufuji) March 30, 2022

So did Nyasu underestimate the amulet’s power? Well, not in any way that can’t be explained scientifically. As they shared with their video, it turns out the placement of charm’s car window suction cup is to blame.:

I freaked out.

I saw smoke and thought something was up, and it turns out the window attachable suction cup on my protection amulet had become a lens and causing a concentrating fire. Right after this I took it.

As it turns out, a concentration of sunlight resulted in a lens-effect fire, with the suction cup used to attach to the car window aggravating things and ultimately focusing on the tray Nyasu uses for their sunglasses at the back of the car. While they reacted before things could get out of hand, the smoke definitely set off some alarms in their head.

Many in Japan typically attach …continue reading


Garlic Chives and Egg Stir-fry with Bean Sprouts

Hero shot of Garlic Chives and Egg Stir-fry with Bean Sprouts.

The garlic chives in my backyard are overgrown so I decided to cook Garlic Chives and Egg Stir-fry with Bean Sprouts. It is a quick and easy dish, stir-frying garlic chives, bean sprouts and eggs for no more than a few minutes. The flavour is just soy sauce and salt with a couple of pinches of black pepper.

Garlic Chives and Egg Stir-fry originated from China. The original recipe consists of only garlic chives and eggs, but my version includes bean sprouts to it. It is an extremely simple dish and takes only 10 minutes to make!

Two Versions of Garlic Chives and Egg Stir-fry

The original dish without bean sprouts is called 韭菜炒蛋 (jiǔcài chǎo dàn) in Chinese, which means scrambled egg with garlic chives. But in Japan, it is called ‘niratama‘ (ニラ玉). ‘Nira‘ (ニラ) is garlic chives and ‘tama‘ (玉) comes from the word ‘tamago‘ (玉子), which means egg.

Niratama is known to be a stamina-boosting food due to the abundance of nutrients in the dish. Garlic chives contains Vitamin B1, B2, and iron to help your body recover from fatigue. It also contains nutrients to improve immunity. The protein from the eggs also helps build your body.

Zoomed-in photo of Garlic Chives and Egg Stir-fry with Bean Sprouts.

There are two methods of making niratama.

  1. Scrambled egg method – in this method, egg is firstly cooked like a scrambled egg, leaving large chunks, then mixed into the stir-fried garlic chives strips.
  2. Omelette method – garlic chives are chopped into small pieces and mixed with beaten eggs. Cook it the way you make a large pancake.

I think that method 1 is more common judging from the images I can find on the web. My cooking method is also the scrambled …continue reading


‘Z’ graffiti found in multiple areas of popular Japanese tourist destination Kamakura

Source: grapee.jp

Residents of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture, a popular tourist destination famous for its many temples and shrines, have been unsettled by the appearance of unauthorized graffiti in at least four locations.

Graffiti is not unusual, even in Kamakura. For example, you can see past examples of graffiti on the website of the “Society for the Beautification of Kamakura.” However, whereas the content of graffiti is often unintelligible to residents, the meaning of the recent graffiti in Kamakura was very clear:

The letter “Z,” now recognized as an indication of support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was scrawled in white spray paint, including once near the entrance to Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine, a place where many people pass by and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.

The symbol was also found scrawled on distribution boards operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company in the vicinity of Kamakura Station.

According to a report in FNN, comments from residents included: “This is a tourist attraction so it’s scary to put something associated with war here,” “It makes me angry,” and “It’s unpleasant and kind of distressing.”

The chairman of the Society for the Beautification of Kamakura expressed anger, saying the letter Z “has a bad association with it. I was very angry that someone would do such a thing in the midst of this tragic situation.”

According to TEPCO, the ‘Z’ graffiti found on its distribution panels will be erased by the end of the month.

At the time of writing, the person or persons responsible for these incidents and their motives remain unclear.

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