This bamboo rice paddle (a), or shamoji, features the words "Oharano Jinja" (Oharano Shrine) in four kanji characters, burned onto the surface of the handle. It is accompanied by a paper bag (b), on which is written the words "Oharano Shrine" and "Fuku shakushi" ("good luck paddle").
This paddle is symbolic of rice, which is the traditional cornerstone of a meal in Japan. It is generally given as a talisman or souvenir to visitors to the Oharano Shrine (in exchange for a donation) in Kyoto. They are then brought home and are functional, not decorative. This particular rice paddle was given as a souvenir to former Children's Museum Director Michael Spock upon his visit there in 1980.