Fortune Telling in Japan
From the traditional “O-mikuji” sacred lots – people draw at shrines and temples to learn their New Year’s fortunes, to the horoscopes displayed on commuter train video screens to distract strap-hangers, Japanese society is immersed in fortunetelling.
Famously accepting of different religions simultaneously — predominantly Shinto and Buddhism — Japanese in general easily fold divination into their worldview, as well.
What methods are used in fortunetelling?
The first, “meisen,” refers to methods of reading fortunes based on birthdays, including various versions of Eastern and Western astrology.
The second, “bokusen,” uses objects to offer divinations for those seeking advice on decision-making. I Ching, Tarot cards and crystal-gazing belong to this genre.
Finally, “sousen” involves divinations based on visual perception, including palmistry, physiognomy, “feng shui” and dream interpretation.
When someone’s depressed or is beset with troubling issues, in Japan many would rather visit a fortuneteller than a psychiatrist.Masakatsu Hayashi, president of Starmark Co.