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Japan: a heartbreaking Ema

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100 t-max, M3, 50mm Zeiss


People who have travelled to, or seen images of Shinto shrines in Japan will know about Ema...small wooden plaques on which you can write a wish to the kami/gods. It's common during the New Year's holiday to write your wish for the year.  The first picture below is context for those who have not seen Ema.  


I've seen thousands of these, and wishes range from the cure for a loved-one's cancer, to a plea that Liverpool will win the Premier League.  The other day, I randomly selected and turned over one Ema. As I slowly read, (shooting film seems to slow down everything I do),  I thought it a bit ironic. "If his tests include English spelling, he will surely need to study more." Says I, the parent of a 6 yr old.  .....but then I got to the last sentence.

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