Lifestyle in Hida

Religious Customs

Ema Market

An ‘ema’ is a votive tablet with a picture of a horse printed upon it. Each year, on the 9th and 10th of August, at the Matsukura Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) Temple, paper ‘ema’ or pictures of horses drawn on traditional paper are sold at a special market there. First, the Hayagriva statue of Sogen-ji Temple is removed to the Matsukura Kannon Temple on the morning of the 9th. Following the Ema Market, on the evening of the 10th, the Hayagriva statue is then returned to its original place. In the Hida Region, in lieu of prayers for a safe home and a prosperous business, the villagers have a custom of pasting a paper ‘ema’ on the wall of the foyer, so a trip to an ‘ema’ market is an important summer event.