Japanese Fortune Sticks

fortune-gum

Let’s learn about Japanese fortune sticks known as omikuji. This month’s gum fortunes are edible omikuji!

In Japan, there are paper or wooden sticks known as omikuji that can be found at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Literally meaning “sacred lot,” omikuji have fortunes written on them – some good, some bad – and are usually received by making a small offering and randomly choosing one from a box, hoping for a good result.

 

Tradtionally, omikuji are written in poem form. Many are based on the “100 Chinese Poems” written by the Buddhist monk Tendai. A long time ago, the omikuji were used as a guidance for decision making, as people wanted to know if their life plans were to be successful or not.

 

japan crate fortune gum sticks

Included in November’s crate is a candy version of these wooden sticks, called UranaiKko Bubble Gum. There are 6 long sticks of gum each with a different fortune written on it; and the box they come in is creatively designed with unique characters. There are even red sticks deemed as “un-lucky” and will turn your tongue red! Carefully peel back the opening at the top and shake the box to see which fortune you receive. Will it be good luck in your love life? A boost in money related matters? Let us know which fortune you receive!

 

Fortune Legend:

 

If you see the following symbols on your stick, here’s what they mean:

 

  • 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)
  • Ending blessing (sue-kichi, 末吉)
  • Ending small blessing (sue-shō-kichi, 末小吉)
  • Curse (kyō, 凶)
  • Small curse (shō-kyō, 小凶)
  • Half-curse (han-kyō, 半凶)
  • Ending curse (sue-kyō, 末凶)
  • Great curse (dai-kyō, 大凶)

 

It then lists fortunes regarding specific aspects of one’s life, which may include any number of the following among other possible combinations:

    • 方角 (hōgaku) – auspicious/inauspicious directions
    • 願事 (negaigoto) – one’s wish or desire
    • 待人 (machibito) – a person being waited for
    • 失せ物 (usemono) – lost article(s)
    • 旅立ち (tabidachi) – travel
    • 商い (akinai) – business dealings
    • 学問 (gakumon) – studies or learning
    • 相場 (sōba) – market speculation
    • 争事 (arasoigoto) – disputes
    • 恋愛 (renai) – romantic relationships
    • 転居 (tenkyo) – moving or changing residence
    • 出産 (shussan) – childbirth, delivery
    • 病気 (byōki) – illness
    • 縁談 (endan) – marriage proposal or engagement

 

For instance, with the box featured below, one is suppose to roll the box and whichever side it lands on determines the forecast for the day. If you don’t receive a weather symbol, re-roll!

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For this one, under the magnifying glass lists your lucky fortune for the day. Believing in superstition is quite common in Japanese culture; and horoscopes often list a lucky item that people will carry around for good luck! ^.^

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Let us know what your future holds! ^O^

4 Comments
    1. Under my magnifying glass I got “School Nurse”. Haven’t been in school for a decade now and I’m pretty sure you can’t take them with you. lol