Retired Bishop Taisen Miyata officiates a fire purification ceremony, Hatsu Goma, at Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo on Jan. 1 to bring in the new year, as congregation members wait their turn to make incense offerings. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)
Visitors poured water over a statue of Jizo, a protector of children. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Omamori (amulets) that ward off misfortune were available for purchase. Some were for a specific purposes, such as traffic safety, safe travel, success in studying, fast recovery from illness, safe and easy childbirth, and matchmaking. Lucky arrows were also sold. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)


These fluorescent omamori provide health and long life for dogs and cats. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Omikuji, fortunes written on strips of paper, were drawn at random and tied in knots to avert bad fortunes or make good fortunes come true. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Ema, wooden plaques featuring an animal from the Asian zodiac. 2013 is the Year of the Snake. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Wishes for good health, success in business, luck in romance, and so forth are written on the ema, which are then hung up. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)


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