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Did you know about these curious signs of bad luck in Japan?

Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, Anime: Sakamoto-san startled
Nichijou: My Ordinary Life, Season 1, Episode 7 || Credits: Nichijou: My Ordinary Life IMDb

If you're a superstitious person, make sure you avoid this in Japan!

Imagine you go on a dream trip to Japan. You’ll finally see the land where your favorite anime is produced!

One night, after having lots of fun at an Izakaya, you casually walking back to the hotel and start whistling the incredible melody of your favorite anime soundtrack.

When you look around, you notice something odd. People are staring at you!

And why wouldn’t they stare awkwardly at you when you are calling snakes?!

Of course, unless you’re trying to find Miia, the Lamia, I believe you had no intention of calling snakes, but that’s what some Japanese people believe!

But how would you know that? Easy! You already know how much I love sharing what I love with my favorite otaku friends, don’t you? After all, I can send marvelous anime loot to you on a monthly basis!

And it’s never too much to stress how much I love Japan and Japanese culture in general, amiright?😝

So stay with me until the end of today’s article, and I’ll tell you about a few things considered bad luck, according to Japanese culture!

What Are Some Common Superstitions In Japan?

One thing I find fascinating about different cultures is that sometimes, no matter how far people live from each other, there are some interesting similarities.

For example, in Japan, it’s believed that putting a pair of scissors under your pillow is effective at warding off evil spirits.

Something similar happens in some western countries: placing open scissors under a pillow is said to prevent bad dreams and protect against evil energy.

Interesting isn’t it?! Here are a few other common superstitions in Japan!


Toradora!, Anime: Taiga sneezing
Toradora!, Season 1, Episode 1 || Credits: Toradora!, IMDb

Especially when you see older animes, you may see this joke where one character sneezes when somebody is talking about them.

One popular Japanese belief is that when you suddenly sneeze, it means someone is talking about you.

Also, two sneezes mean someone is saying something bad, and three in a row means someone is in love with you!

The Anime Flower of Death, Red Spider Lilies

You already know what to expect when you see them in an anime, right? Just think about the deadly girls from Lycoris Recoil.

Red Spider Lilies were often planted around graves to keep animals away; that’s how they became signs of tragedies.

Some people would say that if you pick these flowers, the dead would be dug up.

If you cut your nails…

K-On, Anime: Yui checking Mio's fingers
K-On!, Season 1, Episode 3 || Credits: K-On! IMDb

…you’re bringing death closer!

If you say “night nails” in Japanese, “yotsume”, it’ll be the same as “reaching the end of one’s life” because of the pronunciation. So please, leave it for the day time!

Hide your thumbs! A Hearse is Coming!

In Japan, seeing a hearse is a sign of bad luck, and to prevent anything terrible from happening, we need to hide our thumbs in our palms.

By doing this, you are hiding your parents from death and preventing possible spirits from entering your body through your thumb.

Don’t whistle at night!

Remember what I mentioned earlier about whistling at night? Some people believe that you might attract snakes, evil spirits, or criminals when you do this!

What Numbers Are Considered Bad Luck In Japan?

YuruYuri, Anime: Yui and Chinatsu at the Cinema
YuruYuri, Season 2, Episode 8 || Credits: YuruYuri IMDb

Just like some western people don’t like specific numbers like 13 and 666, in Japan, numbers can have a bad meaning, and usually, people avoid them whenever possible.

Sometimes the way we read a number in Japanese is close to, or the same as, an unpleasant word. The most famous ones are probably four and nine.

One way to say four in Japanese is “shi”, which sounds like death, while nine, “ku”, has the same pronunciation as pain or suffering.

If you ever come across a building that doesn’t have a 4th floor, now you know why!

I wish you the best of luck!

These are just a few things considered bad luck in Japan, but there are so many more!

Japan has such a rich culture that I could never fit everything in a single post! For example, did you know that your blood type tells a lot about your personality?

I do hope you get the chance to visit Japan (if you haven’t yet), and see everything for yourself, so don’t forget to read other posts where I talk about this amazing country and its culture!

Images from IMDb

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