Thursday, January 5, 2012

..Time for omikuji.. 御神籤

A new year has begun ... and it's time for 御神籤 (omikuji)!

Omikuji is a written oracle you can buy in shrines and temples around Japan and it tells you how you will do in many aspects of life.
You can draw an omikuji any time you like when you fells you are about to begin a new chapter in life or for special events such as 初詣 (hatsumode), the first shrine visit of the New Year in order to make new wishes and pray for the new year.

On this omikuji performing picture I was travelling last September with friends around Hiroshima.

We stopped at the 厳島神社 (Itsukushima shrine) on 宮島 (Miyajima island), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Actually I am sure everyone has already seen a picture of this place as the big tori that welcomes visitors to the island is used as a cliché on book covers, website about Japan, etc.

Here is a front view picture from the island

Back to the first picture you can see my friends holding a wooden container box. It's the omikuji box!
When you shake it, an a numbered stick eventually come outs and you can get the corresponding fortune paper from the paper trays.

The oracles are ranked as follows: 大吉 (daikichi, great blessing), (kichi, blessing), (kyou, curse), 大凶 (daikyou, great curse) with different intermediary blessings.

And my friends got... 凶 (kyou, curse)!

However, in such case, you can fold up the fortune paper and tie it to the shrine in order to be protected from the bad luck!
And all the bad oracle will not happen to you.

As for me, I got 吉 (kichi, blessing)...
But that was 4 months ago, it is interesting to see in details if the omikuji became reality

方角 (hougaku, direction): West is good
旅立 (tabidashi, travel): Good
病気 (byouki, illness): Recovery without doubt
建家 (tateya, home): Migration, marriage/engagement is good with that
失物 (shitsubutsu, lost thing): Will be retrieved
待人 (machibito, person being waited for): Coming close
商売 (shobai, business): Good enough
勝負事 (shoubugoto, competition): Ennemi has advantage

Remember I am moving to London after my stay in Osaka?
And my boyfriend is coming with me. We are actually planning to move in a studio flat!


If you want to try your luck too with omikuji, I found an Internet version of it! Follow the link below


  1. Heeeeey, very interesting tradition:)
    I followed the link you posted and got this

  2. Oh you got 凶 (curse)! In such case you need to click on おみくじを木に結ぶ (tie to a tree) to ward off bad luck :)

  3. I actually care for these traditions all around the world. Tks.