Sunday, 27 January 2008

Bad Fortune

Day 2 in Tokyo. We start off with a great breakfast of Soba noodles in a traditional little restaurant in the old Asakusa neighbourhood. Sitting on tatami mats sharing the table with locals and slurping the delicious noodle soup is a great start into the day and it's now time to explore Tokyo despite freezing temperatures.

Asakusa's main attraction is the beautiful temple Senso-Ji. I must admit I'm still mixing up temples and shrines - temples are Buddhist, shrines are Shinto. But I guess it's not that much of a big deal since most Japanese are following both Buddhism and Shinto. In fact I read the Japanese are saying that Shinto is the religion of this world and this life, while Buddhism is for matters of the soul and the next world. Births, marriages and similar worldly affairs are mostly Shinto, while funerals Buddhist. I wonder how the Catholic church would feel about a Christian baptism, a Jewish wedding and a Buddhist funeral... Anyway, I'm digressing.

So, here we are the Senso-Ji temple. I'm very intrigued by worshippers rattling metal boxes and taking out wooden sticks. After identifying the letters on the stick, they pull a little drawer bearing the same letters and pull out a piece of paper. The paper is then neatly folded, knotted around steel rods and followed by a prayer. This definitely triggers my curiosity and I decide to follow suit. However I drew...

- I am shocked at my fate.

"Everything stay and stick without progress. Even if you want to let other people know your name or try to get good fortune, never desire what beyond your control. It is real hard to cross on the boat, a pid (sic) and high wave is on your way. Although your request seems to be granted, by enormous barrier your goal is far away like the earth to the sky. Your request will not be granted. The patient is hard to get well. The lost article will not be found. The person you want for doesn't come. Building a new house and removal (sic) are both bad. To start a trip is no good. Marriage of any kind or new employment are both bad."

Gosh, and here's me thinking 2008 is going to be a good year... I immediately wanted to rattle the box again and pick another stick, but a group of young Japanese was laughing and saying "that's not on" . Oh, well...

Fortunately Guy from Notes From The Field drew No. 52 BETTER FORTUNE!!


monique gruber 31 January 2010 at 17:20  

was fortune telling about 2008 or 2010? If it wasabout 2008 I wouldn´t worry too much....
nice to know you are having a good time in Japan.

Barbara 3 February 2010 at 14:09  

It was 2008. And that year didn't turn out as bad as predicted ;-))

Barbara 3 February 2010 at 14:09  
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