Created By: Raso on October 3, 2010 Last Edited By: Raso on October 6, 2010
Troped

Paper Talisman

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Trope
Over doing it a bit?

Also known as Ofuda. They are paper tags in Shinto and Onmyodo are used for purification and exorcisms or used as wards, sometimes used with Shide [[hottip:*: the Zigzag Paper Tassel you see people hanging in Anime or carrying around]] most commonly at Shinto Shrines or with Mikos.

Taoist's also use a version of the tags called Fu, Buddhist/Hindu they are called Sutras

In some Anime they can do anything even explode.

Closely Related Paper Master, and a form of Functional Magic.

Needs More Examples, How Did We Miss This One?, Rolling Updates.

Redirects: Ofuda, Fu, and Sutra. __

Anime and Manga
  • Ai Yori Aoshi - Taeko the Nightmare Fetishist papers the entire house with both types of wards when rumors of a ghost pop up.
  • Sailor Moon - Rei uses these to complement her magic.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei - Kafuka over does it (in above picture) when she doesn't want the Hikikomori to leave her house.
  • Negima! - Setsuna is known to use Ofuda, once used them protect the hotel from Onmyodo Shikigami [[hottip:*: paper demons]] during the Kyoto arc.
  • Naruto - Paper tags explode, made into a time bomb, or tie it to a Kunai for a grenade.
  • In the Pokémon anime, some characters use these to repel ghost Pokemon.
    • The Pokémon Jirachi (who is said to have the power to fulfill wishes) has three paper tags attached to it.
  • Darkstalkers - Lei-Lei uses the Taoist variant since she's a jiangshi.
  • Marron in Sorcerer Hunters uses these to case his spells.
  • several mages/priest in Clamp's X1999, most notably Subaru and Seichiro.
  • Dennou Coil uses these as "metatags", to modify virtual objects.
  • Inuyasha. Buddhist monk Miroku often uses sutras as weapons against demons.
  • They pop up from time to time in Ghost Hunt - both the Miko and the Buddhist Monk of the team can make them. They're usually used to create barriers against evil spirits, or contain and redirect same.
  • These have a particularly funny use in the first Chinese Ghost Story movie. The unlucky protagonist, having gotten his clothes soaked, accidentally backs into a stall selling these, ending up with six of them stuck to his back (and the inscriptions remaining after the angry shopkeeper peels them off, resulting in another dunking later).
  • jun tao uses chinese jufu talismans to control her guardian zombie lee bailong in Shaman King.

Film
  • The heroine of Dragon Wars covers the inside of her house with these after she discovers that her birthmark cum tattoo is glowing. It doesn't actually make that much more sense in context.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures.
    • Oriental magic items included four Charms of Protection (from disease, fire, spirits and theft). They were made of yellow or red paper with inked inscriptions involving supplications or threats toward various deities. They protected any building they were attached to.

Video Games
  • Dynasty Warriors - Zuo Ci a Taoist uses 6 tags as his weapon which he swings in a line or dance around him.
    • Starting in Samurai Warriors 2, Kanetsugu Naoe's weapon is a sword and a handful of spell-tags, which he mostly seem to use to shoot Frickin Laser Beams...
  • These are a major gameplay mechanic in Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. Talismans can be used directly to cast spells or stuck onto equipment to customize it.
Community Feedback Replies: 33
  • October 3, 2010
    dotchan
    Zigzag paper things: Zigzag Paper Tassel
  • October 3, 2010
    Raso
    Thank ya I didnt know we had a trope for that already. Paper Tags as main title or redirect?

    I moved a few lines over there.
  • October 3, 2010
    Madrugada
    Are these the same as the Zigzag Paper Tassel, or are the two a supertrope and subtrope? I ask because in the image you have up, they aren't zigzag-shaped and they aren't on a shrine. Seems like a fairly substantial difference, to this Westerner.
  • October 3, 2010
    Heart-mint
    Toaism has a similar thing going with the paper tags, it might warrant a mention in the description. The one on Lei-Lei from Darkstalkers is probably supposed to be Taoist since she's a jiangxi.
  • October 3, 2010
    Raso
    Interesting I for got about Taoists, got an accurate description? of it all I know is they are slightly larger than the Onmyodo versions. (feel free to add it)

    if we add them then the trope name I currently have will not fit so... Paper Tags it is?
  • October 3, 2010
    Lullabee
    • In the Pokemon anime, some characters use these to repel ghost Pokemon.
  • October 3, 2010
    shimaspawn
  • October 3, 2010
    MarqFJA
    The description looks clear enough for me. Wiki Magic can expand it later.

    • Naruto has them in both explosive and magical seal varieties.

    @Madrugada: I don't think they're the same, or even a Super Trope-Sub Trope pair; they're more Sister Tropes, if anything.
  • October 3, 2010
    Heart-mint
    Jiangshi, not jiangxi...gah, feeling pretty stupid right now. The Chinese ones are called fu (Chinese:符). All the information I can find on it is in Chinese, but the story goes that what's written on them amounts to a contract between the caster and the spirits. It's more or less the same idea as the Shinto senjafuda.
  • October 3, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
    several mages/priest in Clamp's X, most notably Subaru and Seichiro
  • October 3, 2010
    Raso
    @Foxymod

    I don't know how I missed your reply. But as Marq said they are Sister Tropes really Paper Tags are far more common in Anime than Shide which are the Zigzaging paper. If the hottip would show it would be more clear. (is the formatting wrong for that?) [1] vs [2]
  • October 3, 2010
    AdellePleven
    Dennou Coil uses these as "metatags", to modify virtual objects.
  • October 3, 2010
    Raso
    @Mozgwsloiku how would you link "X"? it goes to some video game.

    I guess the singular of senjafuda is Ofuda so changed the first sentence. That might be the best title for this.
  • October 3, 2010
    DragonQuestZ
    I've seen these called Shinto Charms. I would go with that, as some might confuse this for post-its.
  • October 3, 2010
    SaniOKh
    Speaking of Pokémon again, the Pokémon Jirashi (who is said to have the power to fulfill wishes) has three paper tags attached to it.
  • October 3, 2010
    shimaspawn
    I do think at least a clear English redirect would be nice to help search for them if we don't keep the current title. Paper Tags is a good title. Onfuda should probably be a redirect. Also, I would say related to Paper Master rather than a subtrope. You don't need to be a Paper Master to use these after all.
  • October 3, 2010
    Raso
    ^^ what shape are they? If they are house shape those are called Ema which you write on it your wish tie to a tree during christmas and other holidays. Not sure if they fit under this. EDIT: yeah they seem the proper shape hmm.

    ^^^ add a line saying not to be confused with post-its?
  • October 3, 2010
    bluepenguin
    Ema aren't just for holidays; they can be purchased at any time of year. They are made of wood and are clearly distinct from ofuda in appearance and purpose (granting prayers and making money for the temple vs. protection from evil spirits). However, on one particular festival, Tanabata, you do write your wish on a piece of paper (tanzaku) and tie it to a tree. Jirachi is based on the Tanabata legend/festival, so the pieces of paper hanging off of it are most likely intended to be tanzaku, not ofuda.

    X 1999 should be the correct link for CLAMP's comic series. Subaru uses ofuda in the prequel series, Tokyo Babylon, as well.
  • October 4, 2010
    Arivne
    Would this include written Buddhist/Hindu sutras? If so:

    Anime And Manga
    • Inuyasha. Buddhist monk Miroku often uses sutras as weapons against demons.

    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures. Sutras were material components for several shukenja spells.
  • October 4, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
    Find Clamp's X - making it X redirects to a series of computer games that have nothing to do with it.
  • October 4, 2010
    Raso
    ^^ Sutras would fit I will work that into the description

    ^^^ yeah I just had never seen the pokemon before so I thought I would ask. hmm should I work Tanzaku into the description?

    I wonder if Paper Talisman s would be a better name that was suggested in the forums. (with Ofuda, Fu, and Sutra as redirects.)

    Good to launch when the 3 day timer is up?
  • October 5, 2010
    BlackDragon
    They pop up from time to time in Ghost Hunt - both the Miko and the Buddhist Monk of the team can make them. They're usually used to create barriers against evil spirits, or contain and redirect same.
  • October 5, 2010
    Robotech_Master
    These have a particularly funny use in the first Chinese Ghost Story movie. The unlucky protagonist, having gotten his clothes soaked, accidentally backs into a stall selling these, ending up with six of them stuck to his back (and the inscriptions remaining after the angry shopkeeper peels them off, resulting in another dunking later).
  • October 5, 2010
    MarqFJA
    ^^^ Yeah, looks good.
  • October 5, 2010
    Starry-Eyed
    Kekkaishi: The Kekkaishi are shown to use these occasionally, often for creating magical clones that can sit in school and listen if they happen to be busy.
  • October 5, 2010
    carla
    under anime:

    • jun tao uses chinese jufu talismans to control her guardian zombie lee bailong in Shaman King.
  • October 5, 2010
    Yongary
    Film example: The heroine of Dragon Wars covers the inside of her house with these after she discovers that her birthmark cum tattoo is glowing. It doesn't actually make that much more sense in context.
  • October 5, 2010
    HappyMaskMan
    These are a major gameplay mechanic in Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja. Talismans can be used directly to cast spells or stuck onto equipment to customize it.
  • October 5, 2010
    Raso
    sweet added those examples.... Tick Tock on the 3 day timer thingy I want to launch this
  • October 5, 2010
    shimaspawn
    Dynasty Warriors should be under Video Games not Anime.
  • October 5, 2010
    Raso
    ^ thank you I forgot to move that when I started to make the AC.

    Dropping the line about Fu being larger because it seems like sizes vary across the board.
  • October 6, 2010
    BlackDragon
    Heh, that Dynasty Warriors example reminded me...

    In Samurai Warriors 2 (not sure about the other entries in the series), Kanetsugu Naoe's weapon is a sword and a handful of spell-tags, which he mostly seem to use to shoot Frickin Laser Beams...
  • October 6, 2010
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons 1st Edition supplement Oriental Adventures.
      • Oriental magic items included four Charms of Protection (from disease, fire, spirits and theft). They were made of yellow or red paper with inked inscriptions involving supplications or threats toward various deities. They protected any building they were attached to.
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