Wrapped in hope

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Shrine maidens decorate branches with mayudama charms for the New Year, at Kinomiya Shrine in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Wednesday. The city was once a thriving hub of sericulture, and mayudama, or cocoon balls, have been thought to bring good luck. Today, mayudama are made with rice flour in colors including red, blue and yellow. “I’m making them with my whole heart, in the hope that next year will be a prosperous year without disasters,” said 18-year-old shrine maiden Monaka Kanamori.