Tokyobling's Blog

Omikuji – Fortune Telling Slips

Posted in Japanese Traditions, Places by tokyobling on January 1, 2013

Did you get your omikuji for the new year yet? Omikuji are random fortune telling slips that you buy at shrines and certain temples. You can buy them all year round but most people make sure to get one on the first few days after the new year. There are usually twelve levels of fortune, one of which is indicated on the slip you receive. Some slips are very detailed and contain specific advice and information regarding different aspects of your fortune but most people only look wether they get the highest ranked omikuji, the daikichi or the lowest, daikyou, or anything in between. A positive omikuji is supposed to be worn close to your body and most people put them in their wallets. Negative omikuji can be neutralized by tying them at certain places in the shrine or around the branches of trees or as in this case, tied to a rope tied around a holy tree. Most people then go on and get one more omikuji, looking forward to a better fortune this time! I took this photo at Yasukuni shrine near Kudanshita on New Year’s Day.



3 Responses

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  1. Zainab Khawaja said, on January 2, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I love how, through your pictures, you manage to convey that Japanese culture is very much alive and thriving among the people. As a Pakistani, I sometimes feel quite detached from my culture, and as my country races towards westernized modernizations, we continue to forget the small things that make us Pakistani.


    • tokyobling said, on January 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you for the kind comment! I totally agree, having a lively and widely supported local culture is probably the single most important feature of any country… I don’t think Pakistan is the only one losing out recently, sometimes I think that the whole world is on a race to be the first to eliminate their own heritage and culture… Very sad. I am sure Pakistan has more local culture left than most countries though!


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