Senninriki Belt (Power Belt)-0004
This is a terrific Senninriki or “Power Belt” made from a large piece of white cotton cloth. The material has age-toned and is now a cream or light tan in color. The approximate measurements are 6.75″ High X 56.50″ Long; there were never any tie strings.
The person or group that made this senninriki took a small ink stamp and made 1000 red circles across the front and back of the material. Afterward, those circles were filled or covered by the kanji character for, “riki” or “chikara”. “Riki” means, power or strength in Japanese. As each character was added, it was believed that there would be a compounding of strength provided to the wearer, giving almost super-human ability to perform beyond one’s duty.
On the right-hand side end of the belt are 2 separate rows of kanji characters: The innermost line is for the mantra, “Samuhara” which offered protection to the wearer from harm in battle, particularly from bullets. The outermost line of characters says, Fui gun jin chuu nenbi kannon riki. This is taken from a Buddhist prayer and means something like, “Even if one faces fright in the midst of warfare, by praying to the power of the god of mercy, all of the hatred of the enemies shall disperse”.
Senninriki are more difficult to find than Senninbari. This particular example is quite rare in that inside the folded layers of cotton cloth is a large pouch that contains hair. That pouch measures approximately 6.00″ High X 10.00″ Long. In ancient folklore, women would provide their men who were about to travel away, with small packets of their hair to act as amulets against bad luck. I have never seen a senninriki that contained hair before. This is a fine example that came in a bag with a number of other senninriki (the bag is offered for sale separately to the first person who wants it). I am guessing that these senninriki were made by a women’s group of some kind as they are quite similar. This is the only one in the group with hair sewn inside it! I’m not sure if you’ll ever see another…..