At the beginning of the year, folks in Japan would flock to their favorite shrine or temple to make a prayer for the up n coming year. There are a few ways to make a prayer and one of them is to write on a wooden plaque called Ema [絵馬] and hang it up in a designated area in the shrine grounds.
Akihabara has a shrine called Kanda Myojin [神田明神] - for the past few years it has been the tradition of many otaku anime fans to draw their fave character on an Ema and hang it up in the shrine grounds together with a wish. These particular Ema are known as Ita-Ema [痛絵馬]. #27337