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kyonoki - 京のキー Omikuji

kyonoki

京のキー Omikuji

Omikuji

Omikuji are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan.

Literally "sacred lottery", these are usually received by pulling one out randomly from a box that one shakes, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good. The omikuji falls out of a small hole, scrolled up. Nowadays, these are sometimes coin-slot machines. Unrolling the piece of paper reveals the fortune written on it.
The omikuji predicts the person's chances of his or her hopes coming true, of finding a good match, or generally matters of health, fortune and life. When the prediction is bad, it is a custom to fold up the strip of paper and attach it to a pine tree in the temple or shrine grounds. A purported reason for this custom is a pun on the word for pine tree (matsu) and the verb 'to wait' (matsu), the idea being that the bad luck will wait by the tree rather than attach itself to the bearer. In the event of the fortune being good, the bearer should keep it. Though nowadays this custom seems more of a children's amusement, omikuji are available at most shrines, and remain one of the traditional activities related to shrine-going.

The following fortunes can be seen: Great blessing (dai-kichi) Middle blessing (chu-kichi) Small blessing (sho-kichi) Blessing (kichi) Half-blessing (han-kichi) Near-blessing (sue-kichi) Near-small-blessing (sue-sho-kichi) Curse (kyo) Small curse (sho-kyo) Half-curse (han-kyo) Near-curse (sue-kyo) Great curse (dai-kyo)
  
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Rhod and Ki's tour of life in Kyoto, Japan.

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