31 Dec

Omikuji – Japanese Fortune Telling



Courtenay/ Vancouver/ Toronto

The omikuji predicts the person’s chances of his or her hopes coming true, of finding a good match, or generally matters of health, fortune, life, etc. When the prediction is bad, it is custom to fold up the strip of paper and attach it to a pine tree or a wall of metal wires alongside other bad fortunes in the temple or shrine grounds. A purported reason for this custom is a pun on the word for pine tree and the verb ‘to wait’, the idea being that the bad luck will wait by the tree rather than attach itself to the bearer. In the event the fortune is good, the bearer has two options: he or she can also tie it to the tree or wires so that the fortune has a greater effect or he or she can keep it for luck. Omikuji are available at most shrines, and remain one of the traditional activities related to shrine-going.

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