The new year has come and now so many people are going to some shrines to pray for a luck.
Shinto is the original religion in Japan. It was once wrongly used by the imperialism in the time of World War II in order to drive people into battle. Now most Japanese regard visiting Shinto shrine as a seasonal event.
But this feeling should be explained a bit more elaborately. Most Japanese might admit some sanctity in Shintoism.
Sanctity – for many Japanese, sanctity is almost equivalent to luck. As I have written first, many people pray to a god (there are multiple gods in Shinto) for a good luck. If someone does harm on any equipment in the shrine, we will think ( or hope) the Shinto god would punish that impolite person with a bad luck.
Japanese really like good lucks. Many religious items are regarded as lucky items. There are many myths or symbols which were brought here from China or Korea in ancient time and later converted to “lucky” ones.
– red and white
– gold and silver
– crane and turtle
– pine, bamboo and plum
– number eight
– digits with same numbers, for example 111, 777
– many animals of fantasy, dragons, lions, birds, even snakes
On the contrary, “unlucky” symbols are not so popular. Number 4 and 9 are not liked because the pronunciation of them are like other unlucky incidents. Or – I can’t remember. A black cat is said to bring prosperity. Dragonflies are liked for the reason they are brave. There are even holy caterpillars or centipedes. And Japanese have a magic word – “Talking about unlucky omens will bring rather a luck.”
Consequently, most Japanese are quite optimistic. They Optimism will let us conquer various difficulties we are now faced with, I believe.