Though usually about passing entrance exams and finding love, messages sometimes bleed heartbreak. On more than one occasion, a quick survey has revealed letters to lost little ones, updates on the lives of the living for those who have passed, and other sad events.
Prayer tablets sell for around ¥500 give or take, depending on the size of the tablet, and on the temple or shrine. My parents chose to keep their tablet as a souvenir, and now it hangs in the hallway.
If you’re wondering what happens to the thousands upon thousands of tablets that temples and shrines collect over the years, wonder no more—as with many other items (dolls, good luck charms, etc.), they’re burned in sacred fires.