Friday, January 21, 2005

Omikuji: Drawing Lots

New adults in fursiode, drawing their omikuji.

Who needs fortune tellers when you have Omikuji?

Omikuji are written fortunes obtained by drawing lots (sticks) from a container found at Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples. The sticks are then exchanged for long, narrow pieces of paper upon which fortunes ranging from outstanding, to average, to bad a are foretold, covering every aspect of on's life.

During the New Year's holiday festivities many people visit Shirnes and draw omikuji with a sense of playfulness, rather than using them as a means divine their future. Unfavorable omikuji are tied to trees a on temple or shrine grounds in hopes that it will not come true.

Omikuji is said to have been imported from China in ancient times, and was used as a messanger of the gods for everything from business transactions to marriage. Nowadays you can get omikuji from vending machines. Welcome to Japan.

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