I cannot say I know about maginai enough to speak authoritatively on it.It comes from my ancestral culture of Japan.What little I experienced as a child may seem trite. But here it is.As a child when I hiccups, my mother would say, let me give you some maginai.She would get a glass of water, make a symbol over it in the air with her index finger whilst saying some words.I would stop having the hiccups, and any wag would say, well the glass of water would have sufficed. In my child mind however this mysterious ritual went far in getting the hiccups to stop.
Maginai is a Japanese word meaning charm, incantation,spell or magic formula.
My childhood is full of these small rituals, passed down through the culture, at New Years we would make a small stack of rice cakes for all the automobiles topped with a clementine. This was to insure auto safety. No matter how dried out or moldy it got after 2 weeks, it could not be discarded, it was soaked and peeled like a piece of expensive cheese and either consumed or fed to wildlife.
There is also the teru bozu or a small ghost like assemblage of a square of white cloth, a cotton ball for the head, and a string around its neck. Of course a happy face is painted on for style.Then the incantation, translated “teru bozu, please make the weather fair tomorrow”. A weather charm, for when its just got to be sunny.
Now maginai has made its way into western culture through video games and other media.We see lucky cats in stores, and other paraphernalia.This is what I believe maginai is. Its a wish that is embedded into a physical object so that the bearer of said object will gain benefit. Any object or phrase that holds the intention of well wishes for another could be considered as such. So what will you create and for whom?