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The superstitions of a culture are very interesting to look at, they are deeply rooted in the country’s beliefs and history.
Today, let’s take focus on Japanese superstitions and their meanings.
By reading this article, you can prevent you and your family of being possessed by evil demons, and learn how to curse this rude ex-boyfriend.
Number superstitions find their origin in their pronunciation : some of them sound like words related to death.
the number 4: 四 can be pronounced し (shi) which are the same word as 死 (shi-death).
Therefore, you shouldn’t give gifts in sets of 4 !
The number 9: 九 is not great either since its pronunciation く is the same as the first kanji of 苦労 (kurou)which means hardship.
In some hospitals, there are no rooms 4 or 9 for these reasons.
Yakudoshi : 厄年 represents the years of bad luck in a person’s life. For women, it is 19, 33 and 37, while for men it is 25, 42 and 61.
The origins of the Yakudoshi are vague and the specific unlucky ages change depending on the period, but if you still want to protect yourself from this bad luck you can go to Hachiman Shrine in Kyoto on 18-19 January and having a priest practice a special harae (purification).
Japanese Shintoism mixes elements of polytheism and animism, therefore Japanese believe that many demons can be found in the daily life, here is how to avoid them:
No cutting nails at night
The origins of this superstition come from ancient Japan, at this time, of course, there were no electricity and the night was dark. When the light goes down, the 悪霊 (akuryou) – evil spirits come around.
Any cutting tool was believed to have the spiritual energy (as well as any unanimated object) when cutting at night, the cut creates a gap that allows the evil spirit to enter the human world.
Don’t throw away dolls
As we said, Japanese Shinto/Buddhist believe that inanimate objects have an energy or spirit. Throwing away a doll could piss off the spirit in it, plus, in Japanese doll is « 人形 » (ningyou) which is literally « human form », the dolls are then treated differently than other objects. The right way to do is going to the temple to perform « ningyou kuyo », that should calm down the spirit.
Some gestures linked to funeral rites are prohibited.
Don’t stick your chopsticks upright into rice or pass food between chopstick to chopstick
the rice bowl with the upright chopstick is made for the deceased and not meant to be eaten, also when the deceased is cremated, the family transfers the bones to the urn using chopsticks.
Hide your thumbs in a cemetery or when a funeral car passes by
In Japanese, the thumb is « 親指 » oyayubi, which means « parent finger ». The spirits of the dead accompany the funeral car and hang around the cemeteries, you should hide your thumbs to protect your parents from dying young!
Don’t write other people’s name in red
To save costs, the Japanese tombstones are marked with the name of all the family members at the same time. To separate the deceased members from the others, the names of the living are marked in red, and when they die, the paint is removed.
Especially in the business world, don’t write other people’s name in red otherwise it would suggest that their life would be cut short.
Curse your enemies at the shrine
When someone pissed you off real bad, you can perform 丑の刻参り (ushi no kokumairi). To do so, you need to visit the shrine at « the hour of the ox », which is between 1 am and 3 am, bring your 藁人形 waranigyou (a doll representing the person you want to curse