Even though there are no scientific supports, many people can’t ignore superstitions widely known for a long time. Surprisingly, there is a superstition which wisdom and teachings are hided in. let’s see each superstition in detail.


It is a bad omen to sleep with your head northward

In ordinary houses, people don’t care much about the direction they put their head when they sleep. However, in some old inns or hospitals, it is avoided to sleep with their heads northward, for land time, Japanese lay a corpse with its head northward. This is because the Buddha was laid this way when he died. Therefore, it was widely recognized that sleeping with a head northward is a bad omen. Japanese tend to avoid things that remind them of a death or a funeral.

There are many avoided conducts when using chopsticks. These conducts also remind of a funeral.


The numbers: 4 and 9 are unlucky


In Japan, the pronunciations of “4” is as same as that of “death”. Also, “9” has same pronunciation as “pain”. Therefore, in a home for aged or in a hotel, there are some cases that there is no room using 4 and 9. Moreover, it is said that breaking a comb brings bad luck. This is also related to its pronunciation. Japanese tend to believe a mystical power dwelling in a word or name. This belief is at the root of avoiding these particular pronunciations.


A blood type tells the personal character

A blood type

Japanese often think that a blood type decides the characteristic of each person. For example, people with type A blood are methodical, or, type O blood are calm. Some foreigners might be surprised at this fact. Most of Japanese know that there are no scientific evidence for the relation between blood types and characters. Basically, in Japan, blood types are investigated on the occasion of their birth. Therefore, it is easy to introduce this topic commonly. However, the rate of people who know their blood types is increasing. In the near future, this superstition might be gone.


Tour navel will be taken by Kaminari-sama if you expose it


In their childhoods, many Japanese were told to hide their navels when it is thundering. Originally, this superstition came from the deception for children not to cool their bellies. In a hot summer day in Japan, it will rain heavily, thunder will rolls and the temperature will drop suddenly. The characteristic of this climate might be the background of this superstition.


It is a good omen to find a tea stalk floating upright in the cup

a tea stalk

There is no stalk in high-grade tea which use only tea leaves. Low-grade tea which include stalks only can make an upright-floating tea stalk. According to one explanation theory, merchants created this superstition to sell low-grade tea.


Sneezing means that someone is talking about you


This superstition is very common and famous one in Japan. In the “manyo-syu”(the oldest collection of ten thousand leaves), the similar superstition like this was written. In Nara period, sneezing was believed that your boyfriend or girlfriend is thinking of you.


Leaving hina-dolls after the Girls’ Festival will bring you late marriage

hina doll

March 3rd is the Girls’ Festival Day in japan. The purpose of this day is to hope the growth of girls. The dolls used in this day are called Hina-dolls. If these dolls are left without being cleaned after March 3rd, it will probably take quite some time for a girl to get married. Compared to present, people used complex dolls which have many instruments. It must have been a very tough work to clear the dolls. This superstition might have came out to cheer up to finish this work.


You can’t attend parents’ deathbed if you cut your nail at night

cut nail

Until lights are introduced into Japan, people used paper lanterns and paper-covered lamp stands. At first, this superstition broke out to arouse people not to cut their nails at a dark place.


To sum up


There is a reason why “eight” superstitions were introduced today. The number “8” is the number which is believed to bring a good omen because of the shape written in kanji. It is up to you believing these superstitions. However, when you look superstitions in detail, you can find a lot of secrets hided in.