Good luck charms and lucky amulets, especially those from Shinto shrines, have been a favored form of gift giving in Japan for many centuries. They did have one small drawback though: these charms are very anonymous looking, which greatly lessens their emotional impact.
Now a new type of "Omamori" good luck charm from Inoueyasu addresses this issue yet still retains the traditional look of classic Japanese good luck charms. They take the outward form of an embroidered drawstring bag but it's what's inside that counts - a tiny voice recorder!
Take your "Koe no Omamori" (charm of the voice) to any temple, shrine, scenic location - anyplace you like - and record your message using the built-in microphone. Talk about how beautiful the scenery is, toss in a "wish you were here" or something sentimental, and proceed to give the charm to the intended recipient.
Family, friends or that special someone can enjoy playing and replaying your good wishes as often as they like. Grandparents especially should get a kick out of hearing messages recorded by their grandchildren!
The voice charms go on sale April 20th, 2010, and cost just 1,000 yen (about $10.50) each. Choose from classic gold, rich red or deep blue brocade bags, each one displaying an appealing design that includes a gently smiling "thinking of you" character. (via MSN/J-Cast)