Translated by Miki Takeshita
Drawing Fortune at Shrines in Japan (1/2)
Written by Takuro Komatsuzaki
What is Omikuji?
Omikuji(おみくじ) is a strip of paper with fortunes written on, which can be drawn at Japanese Shinto shrines. It will reveal your luck of the year. Usually, locals draw them on new year's day, or some special occasions making wishes.
Before Taking Omikuji
First, go for "Chozu(手水)" and praying before omikuji. Look through the articles below for instructions!
1.Pay the Fee (100~300yen)
2.Shake the Cylinder and Take out a Stick
Mikuji-tsutsu is a cylinder-shaped container filled with long sticks(random number is written on each). Shake it, and take one out.
3.Hand the Stick to Priest
The priest will hand you a piece of paper in turn.
Blessings and Curses
Generally, there are Dai-kichi(大吉/Great blessings), Chu-kichi(中吉/Middle blessings), Kichi(吉/Usual blessings), Kyo(凶/Curse), Dai-kyo(大凶/Great curse). The variety of fortune depends on what shrine you visited though.
"Blessing" papers show you that you will have good fortune on money, business, health, or love this whole year. On the other hand, cursed papers tell you that you have to be careful for misfortunes.
Of course it is only a foretelling after all, so just enjoy reading your luck of the year. Do not be over-concerned about it.
Which Fortune did She Get?
Look at her face! Seems she's got the DAI-KICHI! Congratulations! Just like her, most Japanese like to have their fortunes told through this small strips of paper. Sometimes English versions can be offered(or it is written on the other side of Japanese version), so ask the priest for them!