Saturday, December 28, 2019

多賀大社前絵馬通りの商店を中心とした共栄会では毎年「笑門絵馬」を作り、絵馬通りの家の玄関軒下に飾っています。先日、その絵馬作りの手伝いに初めて参加しました。まずは町内の書の上手な方に絵馬一枚一枚に手書きで笑門と書いてもらった後、来年の干支である「子(ネ)」の焼印を入れ、同様に小さなRの焼印(これは商標登録?)、さらに裏側には「表参道絵馬通り」の焼印を入れる。これが当日の作業でした。大きな作業小屋を借りて、昔ながらのダルマストーブに火を入れ焼印の型を入れて熱し、それを絵馬に押し付けるというものです。私は途中で抜けた方に代わって小さな商標登録の焼印を少しやらせてもらいましたが、手伝いはもっぱら押した焼印の後、次の作業がしやすいようにアシスタントをする役目でした。焼印が終わったところでこれらの絵馬は多賀大社でお祓いをしていただき、しめ縄に御幣(ごへい:白い紙)を挟んでできあがりです。この笑門絵馬は多賀大社に参拝に来られる方にも販売されます。「笑う門に福来る」子年の来年も楽しいこと、良いことがたくさん訪れますように… Every year, Kyoueikai (Ema-dori shops association) around Taga taisha, makes "Shoumon Ema (votive tablet for welcoming fortune which decorates the front door area) by members. This year, I voluntarily participated in making them for the first time. A person who is very good at calligraphy wrote the word "Shoumon (lit. good fortune and happiness will come to the home who smile) in Kanji on all tablets. Then we press branding 子(ne) which shows zodiac year of mouse, new year. In the same way, little "R" which probably is a registered trademark was pressed, and on the backside of the street name, "Omote-sandoo Ema doori (Main approach to the shrine named Ema-doori) was also pressed. We borrowed a big working shed where woods were burned in a potbelly stove. Iron branding molds were in the stove until they were ready. I had a chance to press the little one but mainly I was an assistant for the person who press branding. When they were all done, they were brought to the shrine, and purified by shrine priest. The Shoumon Ema was completed with sacred straw festoon and strips of white paper used in Shinto rituals. I put the new Shoumon Ema outside of the upper part of the entrance. They are also sold at shops along the street for people who visit the shrine. We wish good fortune and happiness to everyone in the coming year.