The term "red seal," or goshuin, refers to the seals that shrines and temples use upon request to apply a red impression on paper, to ｗhich the priest or other representative will add the date of the visit, the temple or shrine's name, and the name the divinity enshrined there, in black ink.
The balance between the white paper, the black ink, and the red seal is beautiful.
Furthermore, as each is written individually by hand, the seals from different temples create a unique atmosphere.
Watching the priests write in flowing script, it is difficult to draw one's eyes away from their hand hold the brush.
Originally given as a receipt for a gift of transcribed sutras, the red seal is similar to a memorial stamp but has deeper meaning.
In order to receive one of the stamps, it is necessary to present a red-seal book to the priest at the shrine or temple.
These can be obtained at temples, shrines, or large stationery shops, and come in a variety of forms, from those using top-quality, handmade paper, to figured paper, or modern designs, making it fun to select the one you want.
After you have prayed, you can go to the red-seal reception window and, for a fee of about 300 yen, they will make an entry.
It is good manners to wait quietly while they inscribe the entry.