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Japanese Culture: Omikuji (Lucky Draw)

History 01 Apr, 2017

Omikuji is a little fortune-telling paper you draw when you go to a shrine or a Buddhist temple, to know whether your future will be auspicious or not.

At present, it is common to use a paper called “Omikuji paper” to make it.
 
These days omikuji tells your personal fortunes, and this tradition is deeply rooted in the early Kamakura period around the 12th to the early 13th century, but originally people used to draw a ticket when they had to choose an heir or to make decisions about political matters, and this is where the origin of the omikuji tradition lies. 
 
The level of your fortune is usually written on a scale of “Daikichi (Best Luck), Kichi (Good Luck), Chukichi (Half Luck), Shokichi (Small Luck), Kyo (No Luck),” but depending on the shrine there could be more options. 
 
In accordance with the tradition, if you want to “be in connection” with the Buddha or gods, after drawing the omikuji you are supposed to tie it around one of the branches of trees standing in the precincts of the temple.

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