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Thread: Strange Japanese beliefs & urban myths

  1. #101
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    My bed is faced north (pillow) and I have my fan on but it doesn't seem to work for me. I slept alright last night once I fell asleep but it's falling asleep that's the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewok85 View Post
    No, because a mirror is flat - but a mirror ball would work very well ;)
    Its not the reflection of the cat, but the reflection/refraction of light that does it. You are supposed to half fill a bottle, and lie it down so it can move about a bit, but not having gardens, and having half full bottles would be dangerous, the idea still appears to work.
    You are aware that cats carry various parasites and diseases that can have negative effects on humans, as well as on pet cats. I wouldn't get near a stray cat if I were you, and I always thing people are stupid to pet them.
    No no no, you should have your head pointing north - ie. your bed lined up so the pillow is at the northern end. Its very important

  2. #102
    Street Fighter #1 Arabic Boy's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    that finger nails thing

    it's in USA , Japan But don't ask me how my mother do belive it too !

    ( Cutting you nails at night will make your life shorter )

    as for the fan thing ... I don't know ... I use a A\C all the time

    without it I will die becuse the temperture some time reachs 50 !!

  3. #103
    Regular Member FrustratedDave's Avatar
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    You are not suppossed to sleep with your head pointing north b/c that is the postion they lay people when they die and it is not that you will die if you do it, but it is suppossed to be bad luck.

    The fan and the window one are related and it is b/c if you cool your waist region it can give you the runs. So no it won't kill you. Also drinking cold drinks are thought of in the same fashion, as it will give you the runs too. Or so goes the superstition.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by basuotoko View Post
    Eating peanuts will make your nose bleed.
    Leaving a window open while you sleep will give you a stomach ache.
    Leaving a fan on while you sleep will make you sick and may kill you.
    Drinking soda (especially dark ones) will melt your bones.
    Leaving a bottle of water outside your home will keep cats away.
    I must say I have never heard about this before, but then again I haven't been to Japan yet. How many people believe in these things?
    I actually kind of wish, that we had strange beliefs like this in Denmark. I love these quirky little things in different cultures!

  5. #105
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    I was told that sprits/ghosts live underneath the branches of weeping willow trees in Japan.
    I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it. ~Jack Handey

  6. #106
    継続は力なり bakaKanadajin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldiegirl View Post
    I was told that sprits/ghosts live underneath the branches of weeping willow trees in Japan.
    I heard that one too!
    A piece of folklore I found:

    Trees hold importance in various world cultures. In Japan the Buddhist religion has many folklore attachments to trees where nature spirits feature strongly. One such 600 year old story is told of a young Samurai Warrior, Tomotada, who whilst sheltering from a storm in a small forest dwelling beside three willow trees meets a lovely young woman named Aoyagi who lived there with her elderly parents.
    Tomatada fell in love with the beautiful young woman and with his Lord’s blessing he married the lovely Aoyagi and took her on his travels throughout the land.
    Five happy years had past when suddenly and without warning the young Aoyagi screamed in pain and collapsed upon the floor. She reached out her shaking hand to the young Samurai saying “someone is cutting down my tree; I can no longer withhold the truth from you.
    The soul of the willow tree is my soul,
    The heart of the willow tree is my heart,
    The sap of the willow tree is my life”.
    Within seconds the lovely Aoyagi disappeared into a mist leaving only a pile of clothes in the spot where she had fallen. The distraught young Samurai returned to the Willow Grove to tell her parents of their sad loss. When he arrived at the spot where the dwelling had once stood, there remained only three forlorn cut down willow tree stumps.
    Tomatada later became a Buddhist monk.

  7. #107
    Sister Earth Goldiegirl's Avatar
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    Wow bakaKanadajin, thank-you for posting the story of the willow tree. What I didn't mention in my post is that I was told that they are always woman spirits! Now I understand why! Excellent.

  8. #108
    Regular Member basuotoko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrustratedDave View Post
    You are not suppossed to sleep with your head pointing north b/c that is the postion they lay people when they die and it is not that you will die if you do it, but it is suppossed to be bad luck.
    The fan and the window one are related and it is b/c if you cool your waist region it can give you the runs. So no it won't kill you. Also drinking cold drinks are thought of in the same fashion, as it will give you the runs too. Or so goes the superstition.
    Interesting... but you do know that diarrhea can kill? It is actually one of the leading causes of death of children in developing countries. But anyway, my girlfriend is very adamant about keeping the fan off at night. She's told me before that it will make me very sick (possibly leading to death). She takes these things really seriously. So maybe the story varies a bit depending on the person.

  9. #109
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    how about Kotodama?

    you should not say that the cake will be cut(kiru) when a couple cut the cake at their wedding.....

    you should not say speaking(話す、hanasu) when you request someone a speech at wedding

  10. #110
    Regular Member FrustratedDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basuotoko View Post
    Interesting... but you do know that diarrhea can kill? It is actually one of the leading causes of death of children in developing countries. But anyway, my girlfriend is very adamant about keeping the fan off at night. She's told me before that it will make me very sick (possibly leading to death). She takes these things really seriously. So maybe the story varies a bit depending on the person.
    When was the last time Japan was called a developing country?
    And yes peoples oppinions will vary, but the general consensus on this one is that you may get the runs or catch a cold, but not die. BTW, what does you girlfriend do in the middle of a Japanese summer? Does she lock all the windows, turns off the fan and does not use the air conditioner? Must be like sleeping in a sauna.

  11. #111
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    Coke for ex. has caffeine and caffeine uses up the calcium in the bones. I guess it can be true to some extent.

  12. #112
    Regular Member basuotoko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrustratedDave View Post
    When was the last time Japan was called a developing country?
    And yes peoples oppinions will vary, but the general consensus on this one is that you may get the runs or catch a cold, but not die. BTW, what does you girlfriend do in the middle of a Japanese summer? Does she lock all the windows, turns off the fan and does not use the air conditioner? Must be like sleeping in a sauna.
    I don't know... when I see guys pissing on the street downtown I sometimes forget that I'm not in a backwoods village of some third world country. Anyway, I'm just saying that it can kill, but that's really beyond the point.

    Yes, the summer is tough with my girlfriend. It basically becomes a battle of will between the two of us. I crack the window and turn on the fan, and she'll at some point close it and turn it off. But everyone has their weird hangups. I studied at a university in Japan with a German guy who insisted that we never ever turn the air conditioner on in the classroom because it's "bad for your health." Are these people just gluttons for punishment or is it something in the water here?

  13. #113
    Junior Member elektrokitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbal☆ View Post
    well, im replying on my own quote for the next reason :
    i called my friend and i asked him it again and this is what he told me:
    Herbal☆, my girlfriend(s) chop the root into pieces and put it on a plate and they add some salt and after a day,.. REALLY they breast have enlarge a bit
    But you can also just use a lotion to enlarge it

    Wonders where you can find Ginseng root in Okinawa....haha~


    Also is it true that it's disrespectful to take pictures of tombs here?

  14. #114
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    Also is it true that it's disrespectful to take pictures of tombs here?
    Yes and to point at them either, even if you are just pointing them out to someone. Evidently there is a belief that it is disrespectful of the spirits of the dead.

  15. #115
    Regular Member KirinMan's Avatar
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    Wonders where you can find Ginseng root in Okinawa....haha~
    朝鮮人参, ちょうせんにんじん,Chousen Ninjin, or Asian ginseng, can be found here in Okinawa at any number of herbal pharmacies, however, real or otherwise, it can cost quite a bit.

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obeika View Post
    朝鮮人参, ちょうせんにんじん,Chousen Ninjin, or Asian ginseng, can be found here in Okinawa at any number of herbal pharmacies, however, real or otherwise, it can cost quite a bit.
    thanks so much for all the info. are you in okinawa?

  17. #117
    Regular Member basuotoko's Avatar
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    Speaking of herbal remedies, because of East Asian culture, the Japanese seem to buy easily into every "miracle drug" or miracle food type of belief. Shortly before I arrived in Japan this year, there was apparently some kind of major fallout from a television show telling people that eating a type of tofu will make them magically lose weight. When people found out it wasn't working, they got upset.

    ...

    You'd think people would know better, but they just never learn. Japanese are very bad at learning from their mistakes in this area, because it seems like every month I hear "the new" miracle diet food. This month will be something like gyoza soy-vinegar dipping sauce or something equally stupid. And the same people will buy into it.

    Americans and Europeans at least, are a little better about deceiving themselves about their weight. They at least buy diet medications, which are equally ineffective, but mask themselves behind fancy sounding pseudo-medicine with their marketing. Japanese just expect to eat tofu and *poof* lose weight, because TV told them. Did everyone sleep through biology class or something?

  18. #118
    Junior Member elektrokitten's Avatar
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    You mean all the things I hear on TV aren't true?

  19. #119
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    taking a shower when you are feel really tired can have bad endings?

    drinking coffee after beer is like taking water with an aspirine?

    Sleeping on the floor is a little bit better for your health then sleep on a futon or bed?

    eating egg's fully is energetic?

    eating different peanuts (healthy peanuts like amandels etc..) is very good for your heart?

    That every day a little glass with wine is good for preventing cancers?

    That when you go to sleep you fully shutdown your television is better for your electricity bill? (this really work )

    Gambatte ne!

    greetz, Herbal☆.

  20. #120
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    a day of New year in 1946, the Japanese believed Showa Emperor did Humanity Declaration

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ningen-sengen

    i dont think he did
    Last edited by caster51; Jun 23, 2007 at 23:06.

  21. #121
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    Hmm well the fan thing is a possible...ive gotten sick quite a few times from having the fan on me while I am sleeping. A person could get pneumonia and die.

  22. #122
    Regular Member basuotoko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorotsuki View Post
    Hmm well the fan thing is a possible...ive gotten sick quite a few times from having the fan on me while I am sleeping. A person could get pneumonia and die.
    Or they could get heat stroke and die if they don't use it. My god, it's so hot here today. The humidity is what really gets me. And the A/C is useless against it. I think it's a dangerous belief, especially for older people who are more prone from succumbing to heat stroke, and especially in Japan, where the homes have no insulation or central air. A fan can't make anyone sick, unless they stick it right in their face or something. But common sense should prevent something like that...?

  23. #123
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    [QUOTE=basuotoko;468148]Eating peanuts will make your nose bleed.
    Leaving a bottle of water outside your home will keep cats away.

    Why would someone want to keep cats away anyways they do no harm.

  24. #124
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    Gosh, if I hear the thing about covering your stomach at night one more time! Make sure you cover your stomach at night, so that it doesn't get cold! If you don't, you'll have a stomach ache!

    And you better believe I sleep with a fan...no A/C pointed directly at me at night. I haven't had a stomach ache from it yet, much less died from it.

    Eat vegetables while pregnant, and you will have a girl. Eat meat, get a boy. Or is it vice versa?

    And what's the saying about throwing teeth on the roof?

    The fights that my husband and I got into while I was pregnant. It seemed like the weird beliefs really came out while I was with child. I'm not superstitious at all, and it really got on my nerves, to say the least. I learned to just ignore it and go on as I pleased.

    One of the main things was the prenatal vitamins. No, no, no...you don't "swallow pills" when pregnant. Never. Not even vitamins! I definitely didn't pay attention to that one. Oh, but it was ok to drink some champagne(which I didn't object to one glass myself) or smoke.
    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)

  25. #125
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    I just found this bizzare one.

    If you lie down immediately after eating, you will become a cow.
    For some reason, I find it hard to believe that either the Japanese or anybody else would believe this one.

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