Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Japan Photo per Day - Japanese traditions, Yakudoshi, the Unlucky Years

Yoshiwara Shrine, Tokyo
It is known that some numbers are considered unlucky in the Japanese tradition: 4 (shi, because it sounds like the word for death), 9 and obviously 13 - which was “borrowed” from the Western tradition.

But it is less known that Japan has a unique approach to this tradition: there are also… unlucky ages. Called yakudoshi, these ages are different for men and women: the unlucky years for women are 19, 33 and 37, 33 being the “worst", while men are unlucky at 25, 42 and 61, with 42 being the most jinxed… During these years it is considered that important decisions, loans and large projects should be postponed…

Of course, the tradition also establishes some alternatives: the Shinto shrines and the Buddhist temples are performing purification rituals, the bells are ringed a number of times equal to the age and good luck charms are widely available…

(Click on the post title above for more)

Comment: I wonder if there are unlucky numbers for years? For example, if you're Japanese, 1945 wasn't such a good year. But that's a specific country. What I'm really talking about is bad years globally! For example, I don't think that there are too many people who would dispute you if you said 2008, and every year since, has been down right nasty for everyone and the world economy in particular. 

Even the Chinese, given their economy is probably the only one still growing, is stuck with trillions in worthless paper (U.S. Treasuries). Perhaps they could use them for more practical purposes like wiping their fanny's after taking a dump. Of course that might depend on the type of paper they're printed on!!! Bond paper is a little stiff might cause their hemorrhoids to flare up. Who knows, years from now historians, if there is anyone left to record and discuss the matter, might even consider that the "Archduke Ferdinand Moment" of our day and the real cause of WWIII!

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