Monday, January 9, 2012

Omikuji - Your New Year's Fortune from Japan

(A little late, maybe. But for many people in Japan, tomorrow is the 1st day back to work for the New Year so let me slide on this one!)

Every New Year's in Japan, Japanese people go to their favorite temple on (usually) on Jan 1st, 2nd or 3rd, pray and get their good luck fortune for the year. The good luck fortune is called Omikuji and it is a little piece of paper that you place ¥100 in a box and pull out the one you want.

I go and get mine every year. I think most Japanese people do too.

Omikuji (御御籤, 御神籤, or おみくじ) are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. Literally "sacred lot", these are usually received by making a small offering (generally a five-yen coin as it is considered good luck) and randomly choosing one from a box, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good. (As of 2011 coin-slot machines sometimes dispense omikuji.)
The omikuji is scrolled up or folded, and unrolling the piece of paper reveals the fortune written on it. It includes a general blessing which can be any one of the following:
  • Great blessing (dai-kichi, 大吉)
  • Middle blessing (chū-kichi, 中吉)
  • Small blessing (shō-kichi, 小吉)
  • Blessing (kichi, 吉)
  • Half-blessing (han-kichi, 半吉)
  • Future blessing (sue-kichi, 末吉)
  • Future small blessing (sue-shō-kichi, 末小吉)
  • Curse (kyō, 凶)
  • Small curse (shō-kyō, 小凶)
  • Half-curse (han-kyō, 半凶)
  • Future curse (sue-kyō, 末凶)
  • Great curse (dai-kyō, 大凶)

The reason that I am writing about this at this late date is that I want to brag. You see, for me, tomorrow, Jan. 10, 2012, is really the first day of work for me for the new year. 

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life, so to speak.

2012 is going to be a very lucky year for me again. Why? Well, see the above (to the right) where I've highlighted in light blue, "Great blessing (dai-kichi, 大吉)"? That's my lucky fortune for the year. In fact, why I brag is that I've received the "Great blessing" (the luckiest fortune) now for three years in a row. This is a copy of it below. Getting the "Great blessing" is extremely lucky and sometimes very rare. So, see? I want to share my good fortune with you! Now that you get to witness it, it becomes your lucky fortune for the New Year too!:

It says all sorts of things but it specifically says that we must pray and be faithful. Even though it might seem that things are bad, if we stay focused and pray, things will work out well. It also says stuff like "You shouldn't buy any big things." I reckon they mean a house or a car. No problem there. As for me, I don't buy things anyway. There's no way I'd buy a car or expensive clothes. No thanks. I am not that type of guy. I hate shopping.

The other thing that it says that really impressed me was it says that "If you have stocks, you should sell them. You will make money." Wow! That one really blew my mind. I was thinking about selling these crappy stocks I owned - no, they aren't worth millions, but should have been (chuckle).... These stocks have lost so much money over the last few years that I was worried whether I should hold them and hope for the best or just get rid of them and try make a few bucks. Just before New Year's I told the guy to sell them for what he could get for them. Then I worried if I made the right decision.

But now, this piece of paper says I made the right choice. Wow! I feel better! I feel great! I feel lucky!

And that's the point of this whole thing.... I believe the entire point of these things (omikuji and fortunes) are not specifically what they say, but how you take what they say to mean to you; or how they make you feel. I got really lucky and fortunate to get this rare piece of paper - this rare piece of luck. Now, I want to share that with you.

When I saw that I was predicted to have "Great blessing" I felt lucky.

Here's your fortune, that I picked especially for you and me, for 2012:

*Even if things look bad, have faith and things will turn out okay
*Eat well, cut down on bad foods and alcohol
*Try to exercise and get more sleep
*Save money / Cut down on credit card debt
*Work hard and work diligently. In 2012 those people will be the survivors. 
*Stay focused
*Be kind to people
*Be honest and sincere
*Write down your goals everyday and get the Law of Attraction working for you!
*Strive to be more patient and relaxed. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Do these things and 2012 will be much better than 2011. In fact, it will be a good year. Let's face it, you make your own luck. If you feel lucky, you are lucky. I feel lucky. How about you?

Let's make our own luck in 2012! 


Ryu Oni said...

Wow, three years in a row!!! That IS lucky!
How have the past 2 years treated you?
I didn't get my fortune this year- I'll probably go to get it next year though :)
Any idea which Shrines are considered the most holy or sacred around the Kansai region?

mikeintokyorogers said...

Hi Ryu!
Every year has been better than the last! I hope this year is better than last year for you, too!

Tetsuo said...

Hello, I'm Japanese. This page is very good for foreign people to know about omikuji.
Tell the truth, omikuji is supposed to take it and keep it. But many Japanese don't know it. I also didn't know it before. But about ten years ago I found out I should keep it, Then read the sentence as your daily guide, and next time you go to temple or shrine, you'll tie it there. But when I keep it in my purse, omikuji became really dirty. So I started to make omikuji case. I sell it at some shrine. I hope to take a look at my page. It'll be also good souvenir with omikuji for foreign people too.,english.html