Reification in tourism: An investigation of visitors’ interpretation of omamori

Yanyan Zheng, Xiaoxiao Fu, Mimi Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Omamori are one-of-a-kind products provided at Japanese religious sites and are popular among visitors from all over the world. Drawing on the theoretical lens of reification, this study explored how visitors with different cultural and religious backgrounds interact with the world through material products in the context of religious tourism. A qualitative approach was taken to analyze online reviews through inductive thematic analysis. Findings revealed a ‘world-object-human’ framework of reification, in which visitors' interpretation (i.e. perceived religious power, secular value, and the mixture of religion and secular life) and meaning-making with omamori are explored. Results further showed the reification process manifested in omamori contributes to tourism experiences and cross-cultural understanding. Theoretical and practical implications were provided, followed by limitations and suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100706
JournalJournal of Destination Marketing and Management
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Cultural tourism
  • Japanese
  • Material culture
  • Omamori
  • Reification
  • Religious tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing

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