Translated by Collin Radford
Omikuji - Japanese Fortune Slips
Written by Hiromasa Uematsu
Omikuji are fortune slips you can get shrines and temples in Japan. They are especially popular during the new years period.
A Popular New Years Tradition
If you have visited a shrine or temple in Japan, you probably have seen these paper strips during your visit. They are called omikuji and they are especially popular around new years.
Let's see what they are.
Omikuji - Japanese Fortune Telling
Omikuji is a type of Japanese fortune-telling. They are supposed to predict your near future. Usually, many people purchase them at the beginning of the new year and the prediction on it is supposed to be for the next year.
Omikuji can be purchased at shrines and temples for between 100 and 300 yen. In most cases, the fortunes are written on a small, white paper and placed in some sort of container.
Visitors choose their fortune at random either directly from the container or they pull a random number and get their fortune according to the number. There is no way to tell your fortune before you choose it.
Each omikuji is separated into categories such as love, health, and work. They also have a general fortune written onto them.&nbsThey are mostly written in Japanese, but some popular shrines and temples offer them with English translation.
What are Daikichi and Daikyo? - Different Degrees of Luck
Omikuji offers different degrees of luck. From best to worst, Daikichichukichi, shokichi, kyo and daikyo are the degrees of luck you may get from an omikuji.
Usually, the degree of luck is just for reference. Don't worry if you get a bad result. Japanese people have a special way of dealing with fortunes they don't like.
It is believed that if you end up with a less than desirable fortune, you can tie it up and reverse it into good fortune. Shrines and temples generally have places, known as musubidokoro. You are meant to tie unwanted omikuji to this place and to leave the bad fortune behind.
As mentioned before, it has become customary to visit a shrine and get a fortune slip on New Year's Day in Japan. However, apart from New Year's Day, you are free to draw omikuji at any time you visit a shrine.
Get an Omikuji as a Souvenir
Omikuji are a fun memorabilia to get during a shrine visit. Maybe you could write the year you got it on it and look back if some of the fortunes came true.
There are shrines that sell special omikuji. Even if you don't buy one, checking out the different omikuji can add some new fun to shrine visits.