Living in Japan: Superstitions


1.   Most Japanese will avoid sleeping with their head facing North. (its the direction the deceased are placed at a funeral.)
2.   Japanese people will avoid writing a person's name in red ink, cause they may die. (so a Japanese person will often use a red pen to write the name of someone they do not like.)
3.   Many believe it is important to cover the bellybutton during a storm, to avoid stomach aches.
4.   A lot of Japanese do not cut their fingernails at night, for fear that their parents may die early.
5.   All Japanese will throw salt over thier sholders before entering their home after attending a funeral so not to attract spirits of the dead. (some of my friends keep small piles of salt in the corners of certain rooms)
6.   Japanese do not whistle at night to avoid attracting robbers or ghosts. (I never hear Japanese people whistle...especially while they work)
7.   Japanese never walk through the center of the TOORI (pictured above) when visiting a temple, they usually stay to the left. (the center is where the god passes through during MATSURI)
8.    A lot of Japanese believe, to keep a slither of white snake skin in their wallet, will attract wealth and prosperity.
9.  The number 4 is pronounced SHI, the same pronunciation for the word DEATH. To most, it is considered unlucky and is often skipped in hotels and hospitals, like in Western culture where many avoid the number 13. (everything in Japan is sold in sets of 3 or 5, never 4.)
10.   Unlike me, Japanese people are uncomfortable sleeping with exposed mirrors at night. They cover the mirrors in their room,  to avoid attracting ghosts. (if I visit my Japanese friends homes, they ALL, ALWAYS hang a towel over the mirror in their bedrooms)

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