Does superstition exist in Japanese society? Yes, it does! I don’t believe in superstition much but in some cases I do. If you don’t believe in supernatural casualty then I can simply tell you that you don’t believe in them. More or less, everyone in Japan believes in superstitions.

Here in this article there are some common and popular Japanese superstitions you will be reading, so carefully read and be aware of these if you are in Japan now. They might be horrifying you at night!

Common Japanese Superstitions
Photo credit: emrank at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing

1) Cutting nails at the hours of darkness can cause you early death and you will not be along with your parents after they die. It suggests that there is a possibility of being a death person before your parents die.

2) Number four in Japan is seen as an unlucky number because it is pronounced the same as the word for death (shi). So, number four is simply avoided by the Japanese. Therefore, in some hotels, hospitals number four is skipped.

Black Cat Superstition
Black Cat Superstition. Photo credit: robboudon at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing

3) Black cat superstition is a common one that Japanese are aware of. If you see a black cat is crossing the road in front of you then it will cause bad luck for you. I think in many society black cat is seen as a bad luck sign.

4) Whistling at night refers you that a snake will come to you or a ghost will attack you. It sounds interesting! Though, I don’t believe in this one. So far, in my life I did it many times, nothing bad happened!

5) Japanese believe, sleeping towards the north means that you will have to die at early age. Many Japanese have a strong belief in this one, I myself believe it. Some superstitions sound very scary, this is one of them! This is one of the top Japanese horror superstitions. Don’t you think so? In some Japanese best horror movies you will find the smell of superstitions such as in the movies Onibaba and Kwaidan.

6) If you lie down just right after eating then you will be a cow. It is kind of a most funniest Japanese superstition I have ever known from my grandparents. To be honest with you, I did sleep many times just right after eating my meal! Oh god, thanks! I am still a human.

7) You should hide your thumb if a funeral car passes you. What would you do if a funeral car passes you in Japan? I guess you have started thinking of it now, right?

The man is writing in black ink. GREAT! Photo credit: Janne Moren at Flickr.

8) Never write a person’s name in a red ink if you are in Japan now since it is considered inauspicious. I don’t write a person’s name such way but I sometimes sketch few objects with a red ink pen.

9) If a person attends at a funeral then he should not enter in his house without throwing salt over him. I heard, in many Asian countries, people do something to purify their bodies before entering their home when they come from a funeral.

10) Japanese never stick chopsticks into the rice bowl because it is only at the funeral where chopsticks are stuck into food and placed at the altar. In fact, it is a common Japanese chopstick etiquette.

Japanese Chopsticks Etiquette
Japanese Chopsticks Superstition. Photo credit: krtek_net at Flickr through Creative Commons licensing.

11) Passing food from chopsticks to chopsticks is bad because this is the same action which is only done at the funeral ceremonies with the bones of a cremated body. If you ever go to a Japanese restaurant and hold chopsticks to eat with then never try to pass food from one to other chopsticks.

12) If you see a spider in the morning it is good luck for you on the other hand if you see a spider at night then it is a sign of bad luck for you. You never wish to see any spider if you are afraid of it, it does not matter whether you see it in the morning or at night. Be careful of them.

These 12 common Japanese superstitions do exist in Japanese culture and in the society. There are some Japanese superstitions that could match with your own society’s superstitions. I think you will realize it if you read it here.