Among the many New Year celebration activities is going to the local Shinto shrine to buy Omamori 御守 or お守り (protective charms) and draw random luck kichi. As per the Japanese way, my Omamori is red and his is blue. If they had been smaller, mine would have been pink and his blue.
This year I received a rare dai-kichi (Great Blessing) from the random drawing and I thought it would be interesting to share these results with you. Culture in context is always the best way to learn it. The kichi strip costs 100 yen (1$ = 86 yen) and normally each person only draws once, but some shrines (probably those in need of more money) encourage people to draw twice.
The Wiki says people offer five-yen coins for luck. Our shrines specifically asks for 100 yen coins. Besides, it's extremely rare for people to have either five-yen or fifty-yen coins in their possession as those coins aren't mass produced. They're also the only two coins with circles in the middle, which would indicate good luck.
500 yen, 100 yen, 50 yen, 10 yen, 5 yen, 1 yen.SOURCE: Wikipedia
O-mikuji (御御籤, 御神籤, or おみくじ o-mikuji) 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 o-mikuji.)
The o-mikuji 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)
- 方角 (hōgaku) - auspicious/inauspicious directions (see feng shui)
- 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
- 學問 (gakumon) – studies or learning
- 相場 (sōba) – market speculation
- 爭事 (arasoigoto) – disputes
- 戀愛 (renai) – romantic relationships
- 転居 (tenkyo) – moving or changing residence
- 出產 (shussan) – childbirth, delivery
- 病気 (byōki) – illness
- 縁談 (endan) – marriage proposal or engagement
Hogaku - Unfortunately our shrine skipped this. Bummer.
Negaigoto - My wishes should come true.
Usemono - My lost articles will be found.
Arasoigoto - I will win disputes.
Tenkyo - It'll be good to move(maybe this takes the place of hogaku -direction).
Akinai - All of my business problems will be solved.
Renai - Passion, passion, red hot love all around (yes, a couple can be happily married for 17 years under these conditions).
Katei 家庭 - We'll have peaceful home relations (not in the Wikpedia explanation).
Shussan - It's safe for me to give birth.
Gakumon - I will be strong in academics (hee).
Shushoku 就職 - There is a job (I want to change jobs -- not in the Wikipedia explanation).
Machibito - I should wait for someone.
Ryokou 旅行 (same as tabidachi above) - I'll have fun traveling.
Kyuujin 求人 - A person I want will come. Who? Who? This usually refers to hiring people. (not in the Wikipedia explanation).
Kenchiku 建築 - Construction is good for me (not in the Wikipedia explanation).
Soba -Stocks will go up (I need to own some).
Byoki - My illness won't change (since I'm not sick, this is great).