Subject: Japanese Superstitions
Appeared In: Shadow at the Water’s Edge
As Rentaro claims, “Ghosts are just what happens when guilty people let their imaginations run wild.” Superstition, and some people’s desire to believe in the supernatural, are key behind the haunted ryokan. Nancy experiences some of the ill omens on this list; here are a few more.
- If you cut your nails at night, you will not be with your parents when they die.
- Stepping on the cloth border of a tatami mat brings bad luck.
- Don’t catch a crow’s eyes.
- After attending a funeral, throw salt over yourself before reentering your home.
- The first dream of the new year will come true. (Let’s hope it’s not a nightmare!)
- If you urinate on a worm, your genitals will swell.
- If you leave a fan on all night, you will die.
- Don’t swim during August! This is the Obon season, when ghosts return home. They’ll snatch you away if they catch you in the water.
- It’s bad luck to talk back to someone who’s talking in their sleep.