Japanese Superstitions - Bad Luck and Fortune in Japan

Share and Win a Secret Gift!

Thank you for sharing! Your gift is at the end of the page! Enjoy your reading!


Japan is a country full of superstitions, there are thousands, and the Japanese take them very seriously. In this article we will look at some of the Japanese superstitions, some even bizarre and meaningless to us. Japanese beliefs and superstitions are well rooted in Japan's history and culture.

There are a lot of numbers, objects, words and actions that can bring luck or bad luck. All this because Japan is influenced by Buddhism and Shintoism, which believes in thousands of gods and supernatural creatures.

We also recommend reading:

Unlucky numbers in Japan

We cannot talk about Japanese superstitions without citing the numbers that the Japanese are so afraid of. Even elevators avoid putting the unlucky number in Japan. Let’s see some superstitions involving numbers below:

  • Four – 4 – 四 - Your pronunciation SHI can sound like the word death (死) that is also shi;
  • Nine – 9 – 九 - The pronunciation KU can sound like suffering, pain (苦) and also with something dark (black - kuro);
  • 43 - The pronunciation shisan is similar to the stillborn shizan (死産);
  • Other suggestive numbers are 42 which indicates until death (死に - shini). 49 which looks like run over (敷く - shiku);
  • Days 1 and 15 of the lunar calendar, sexual intercourse should be avoided.
  • They say that in pictures of 3 people, the one in the middle dies first.
  • If you hiccup 100 times in a row, you die;
  • Never eat eel with pickled plums (or tempura with watermelon);
Japanese superstitions - bad luck and luck in japan

Unlucky Japanese Superstitions

  • Puncturing the food with chopsticks and leaving them standing up brings bad luck. Why do they do this to mortos;
  • To sleep with the head towards the north, attracts death, because the dead are buried with the head towards the north;
  • Cutting nails at night is said to attract death too;
  • Whistling and playing flutes at night attracts snakes and ghosts;
  • Crossing with Ravens and Black Cats is a bad omen;
  • Never pass food from your chopsticks to someone else's plate and don't keep hitting the chopsticks on the plate. This, too, is done at the funeral;
  • Never write your name in red ink, it suggests that your life will be compromised soon.
  • Don't leave rice on the plate, you could go blind;
  • If you lie down after eating, you will become a cow;
  • See a spider in the morning of luck, and in the evening of bad luck;
  • If you hear thunder, you must hide your navel, otherwise the god will eat your navel;
  • If a funeral car passes by, hide your thumb, because if not something bad might happen to your parents.
  • You must not take pictures of the graves, for this will bring bad luck, and you will be disturbing the repose of the dead;
  • If the geta (Japanese wooden footwear) breaks in half, it's a sign of bad luck.
  • Mirror steals the soul, mirror should not be placed towards the bed;
  • It brings bad luck to respond to a person who talks in his sleep.
  • Wearing new shoes at night is bad luck;
  • Don't step on the edges of the mat, bad luck. Stretch your foot further and avoid this spot!
  • If a beggar comes to your door, you must salt your doorway, otherwise you will have bad luck like financial misfortunes in your home;
Japanese superstitions - bad luck and luck in japan

Japan superstitions that are beneficial

  • Eating seaweed increases hair growth.
  • Drinking milk enlarges the breast;
  • Those who listen to classical music when they are children become geniuses.
  • A piece of paper or wood hidden in clothing is good luck if it is kept close to the body at all times;
  • A good omen is a bird pooping on your head;
  • Blood type identifies a person's qualities.
  • If the stems or tea leaves float vertically, you're in luck, but it's hard to do
  • If you find a snakeskin during a field trip, keep it in your wallet. Brings luck and fortune;
  • 7 is a lucky sacred number for the Japanese, as well as many other cultures.
  • if eat mochi (rice dough dumplings) or osechi ryori (special New Year's dish) on New Year's, will bring longevity;
  • When entering a funeral, throw salt over your shoulder, as this drives death and spirits away from you;

Read more articles from our website

Thanks for reading! But we would be happy if you take a look at other articles below:

Read our most popular articles:

Do you know this anime?

Thank you for reading and sharing! Get your gift: