Superstitions in Japan are prevalent even in this technically advanced era. Nevertheless, it is fun to know about these superstitions.
Kanashibari literally means, “to be bound by metal,” is temporary sleep paralysis. This is a very common phenomenon in Japan, about 40 percent of the Japanese have experienced it, some time or the other in their lives. The Japanese believe that it is the spirits, which make them unable to move while they are in partial sleep.
It is said that the spirits are attracted to the children who sleep with a stuff-toy. Also, to those who sleep on their back. A huge number of TV shows and blogs are in existence on the Kanashibari.
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The old Japanese tradition suggests that when someone takes refuge in an abandoned house, the house will keep a continuous watch over the occupants with its hundreds of eyes. The phenomenon is an explanation to the situation when one is an occupant it an abandoned house and gets the feeling of being watched.
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According to the Japanese tales, the ordinary animals possessed supernatural powers. Foxes are considered to be more prominent amongst other animals to have such powers. It is believed that foxes can do a lot of mischief ranging from petty tricks to kidnapping and burning houses. The most prevalent belief is that a fox could turn itself into a voluptuous woman and attract men towards them and away from their families.
Sleeping With the Head in The North
Japanese people regard sleeping with the head in the north as a bad omen. The people who do so die early. This tradition is also prevalent in some other Asian countries, like in India too. Indians believe that the head should be kept in the north only after the death of the person. So if you want to live longer, you know in which direction your head should be while sleeping.
Cat Brings Luck
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A lot of people around the world have started believing in this old Japanese tradition. You might have seen an artificial cat gesturing at shops and businesses. Well, these are the people, who have faith in the cat-luck. The Japanese believe that a cat brings luck to business, and in Japan, people also keep an actual cat for bringing luck to them.
The Sight of a Hearse
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Probably nobody except of course the people, who work at the cemetery, likes the sight of a hearse. In Japan if you see a hearse you should hide your thumbs immediately. They regard the thumbs as the “parent fingers” of the hands. If someone does’nt does it, then the person’s one of the parents would die. Now you know that enhancing the age of your parents was not that difficult.
The Oil-Licking Monster
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The folklore states that the people who waste their time become the oil-licking monster. The oil-licking monster is said to be cursed to live with the cockroaches. Workers from Japan who worked at night used lanterns and the monster is said to lick away the oil. Experts do give a rational explanation too, that some animals must be consuming the oil and people made-up the story of the monster.
Kamaitachi or simply the “sickle weasels” are a group of three notorious weasel monsters who work in a team to execute mischief. The first one would make you fall down, the second one will cut you with a sickle and the third one will heal you. So, whenever a person in Japan falls down and on getting up sees a cut on his body, thinks it to be the work of the weasel monsters.
The next time you plan a trip to Japan, you already have some information on their superstitions and can avoid an error, according to their culture.