10 Famous Japanese Superstitions You Must Know This Halloween
Have you ever heard your friends ask you not to walk on the street if a black cat crosses it? Or if your palm itches, your mother says maybe great fortune will find your way? All these are merely superstitions that people believe in all over the world but most of the modern lot considers them to be a misnomer. Japan, while embracing western ideas and lifestyle, is still somewhere behind with respect to belief in magic, supernatural and superstitions. It’s not entirely bad or having any impact on this country’s growth. Plus it is good to listen to interesting tales of ghosts and omens, around a bonfire with toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate, from with your Japanese friends on Halloween. Here are famous Japanese Superstitions you should definitely know this Halloween.
Don’t cut your nails at night. It is believed that cutting instruments leave a gap in whatever they cut or slice and the gap will allow evil spirits to enter your house at night when it is dark.
In Japan, it is common that people hide their thumb and sometimes fingers as a Funeral car passes or they pass a graveyard. It is believed the parents of someone who didn’t do as such, will die at a young age or the evil spirits in graveyard or the ones near the coffin will possess their bodies.
In earlier days, burglars used to whistle in order to communicate with partners during a robbery. It is now considered that if you whistle at night, you will lure evil spirits, snakes and villains into your home.
In earlier days when majority of Japanese population believed in curses and spells, people used to visit shrines with a straw doll to curse someone they hated. It is believed that if someone saw you making the curse, the curse will be reversed on the curser instead.
It is believed that if you want to make a wish walk from a shrine’s gate to its main hall hundred times and to increase chances of its fulfillment, you should walk into the temple bare feet.
In Japan it is believed that the ages 25, 42 and 61 for men whereas 19, 33 and 37 for women are very unlucky and they will experience unlucky events in their lives. The number 4 is also considered unlucky.
Never step on the border of a tatami mat. It is considered to bring bad luck to the household.
It was believed in ancient times that Raijin, the God of thunder would eat the belly butoons of young children. Parents till now ask their children to cover their belly buttons or else Raijin will sleep on their tummy.
Dead corpses are laid in their coffins facing north, hence it is believed that if someone lies facing North, bad luck will strike them or they will die a terrible death.
Never use red ink to write someone’s name or it will bring bad luck or death to them. Make sure to exchange your pen while you travel in Japan. Red is bad.