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The fourth of my images of Japan collection September 19, 2006

Posted by urbanblue in Images of Japan.

Omikuji” are fortunes that you buy at temples and shrines. They come in many shapes and forms, but often you’ll shake a tumbler of sticks until one falls out of the little hole, and your omikuji will be attached to it. They can range from very good fortune to downright dreadful. I’ve had a few good ones in my time, but I do remember the one I got from Hasedera Temple in Kamakura when my sister came to stay a few years back. It basically told me that I was going to get sick and not recover, I was going to have a fight and I wasn’t going to win, and, if that wasn’t clear enough (if I remember the quote correctly) “Soon you will not be alive”. My special items, according to this cheerful piece of paper, were a box and a shovel.


My Japanese friends tell me these particular fortunes are incredibly rare and I was “lucky” (?!?) to get one. So there you go.

Well, if your omikuji isn’t too promising, the thing to do is to fold it up and tie it to a tree or similar. Apparently the wind will remove your bad luck by a third. Must be true, because I got my bad omikuji five or six years ago, and I’m still here!! I must have a few good years left in me yet before I need that box and shovel.
Here you can see some omikuji tied to a tree in Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture).




1. yokohamabrian - September 20, 2006

Isn’t that just the strangest thing! I got one from Narita temple, ages ago, that said my life was perfect. This caused an uproar with my Japanese friends and they told me that that is the worst one you could get. Honestly. I thought I was on a bit of a roll with tht one:)

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