In Japanese tradition, one should visit your local temple for New Year’s. There, for a small donation, you can get a wide assortment of omamori, amulets of silk, wood or metal that will bring you good luck in their respective categories. Typically people seek fortune in the realm of love, prosperity and health. And then there are ones concerning the not-so-ancient rituals of, say, driving an automobile.
Yes, you can get a koutsu anzen omamori, or “traffic safety talisman” to hang from your rear view mirror, or fasten to your window via suction cup. It is not uncommon to find one mounted to the walls of train cars of the Japan Rail system either. Some temples will even let you drive up and get your entire car blessed. So now that we have one hanging on the JNC wagon for 2011, we can drive as fast as we want, right?