Japanese Omikuji: Test Your Luck with Japan’s Fortune-Telling Paper
We don’t know what the future holds for certain. But wouldn’t be nice to just have a sneak peek for the coming year? If you’re in a Japanese Shinto or Buddhist shrine, you can try your luck in drawing Japanese fortune telling papers or the Omikuji.
Omikuji (translated as a “sacred lot”) are pieces of paper that predict the fortune of the person in aspects such as:
- 方角 (hōgaku) – auspicious/inauspicious directions
- 願事 (negaigoto) – one’s wish or desire
- 待人 (machibito) – a person being waited for
- 失せ物 (usemono) – lost article(s)
- 旅立ち (tabidachi) – travel
- 商い (akinai) – business dealings
- 学問 (gakumon) – studies or learning
- 相場 (sōba) – market speculation
- 争事 (arasoigoto) – disputes
- 恋愛 (ren’ai) – romantic relationships
- 転居 (tenkyo) – moving or changing residence
- 出産 (shussan) – childbirth, delivery
- 病気 (byōki) – illness
- 縁談 (endan) – marriage proposal or engagement
As early as year 900s up to date, the Omikuji are used to predict your new job, your health, your search for love (!), and business success. According to Zooming Japan, there was even a shogun who was chosen by the guidance of the Omikuji!
As for me, I just want to get one just because. When I go visit Japan every Christmas season, it has been a ritual for me to get Omikujis every start of the New Year. I don’t know if it’s true. But, why not?
Trying Your Luck
It’s easy. I usually go to Asakusa Sensoji Temple for my Omikuji. Usually, every temple has one. You just need to donate a certain amount (for this temple, it’s 100 yen). And shake the metal pentagon prism to get a single stick.
The stick will correspond to a number written in Kanji. Just find the drawer for the matching number and get your hopefully lucky Omikuji!
How Does Your Luck Look Like?
The results will vary. You will get either one of the following:
- Great blessing (dai-kichi, 大吉)
- Middle blessing (chū-kichi, 中吉)
- Small blessing (shō-kichi, 小吉)
- Blessing (kichi, 吉)
- Half-blessing (han-kichi, 半吉)
- Ending blessing (sue-kichi, 末吉)
- Ending small blessing (sue-shō-kichi, 末小吉)
- Curse (kyō, 凶)
- Small curse (shō-kyō, 小凶)
- Half-curse (han-kyō, 半凶)
- Ending curse (sue-kyō, 末凶)
- Great curse (dai-kyō, 大凶)
Look! I got Best Fortune for this year! I don’t know if this is true. But just for the first three days of 2019, I managed to close four clients for my sideline. And the catch is, they contacted me! If that is not lucky, I don’t know what is.
What If I Got Bad Luck? Am I doomed?!
Do not panic! You are not doomed! All you have to do is “Not Bring Bad Luck Home”. I said stop panicking! STOP!
It is believed that bad luck can be delayed or averted when you leave the bad luck where you found it.
At the temple grounds, you will see metal bars where Omikuji are tied on. All you need to do is tie your ominous fortune there. If for some reason, you can’t find it. You can tie the paper at a tree or in between a door.
At the end of the day, Omikuji are not your destiny. We all hold our own fate. We still need to work hard and work smart to get our goals.
Here is a lucky Asahi “Passion” thing (?) for your coming fortune-filled New Year! Happy New Year everyone!