Japanese Superstitions: Falling in Love

Now I know what you’re thinking. Valentine’s Day is over, and those of you who read the Japanese Superstitions: Love and Romance/Dating post have seen something similar before. And, to be fair, I thought I had said everything there is to say on the topic love and superstitions related to it. That was until I met up with a friend who had a whole new host of superstitions to share with meーmostly related to falling in love or finding someone to love (as opposed to making your current love stronger… or just making sure it doesn’t fall apart). A lot of it sounds like your typical playground talk: “Step on a crack, break your mother’s back”, “If you drink this really gross pond water Jeremy spilled on the floor, you’ll be invincible and/or turn into Spiderman”, etc. That kind of stuff. But, curious as I am, I did some research and was not left wanting for another crazy load of weird love superstitions… many of which are surprisingly detailed!

Japanese Superstitions: Falling in Love

Untitled design (6)

 I’m Not Sure That’s How It Works…

ruki gazette

No flowers for this girl cosplaying Ruki, vocalist of the visual-kei band The Gazette. Aww.

  •  Place a bouquet of flowers on the Harajuku bridge (the former famous hangout of all the dressed up Harajuku kids)
  • Catch 3 flower petals falling from a sakura (cherry blossom) tree and your wish of love will come true. However, you need to be with someone else at the time (presumably the one you’re interested in?) for it to have an effect.
  • If a ladybug lands on you, you’ll get married. Note: You can’t force it to land on you, it has to be natural. (<-I was told emphatically that a ladybug shouldn’t be goaded into landing on you. Do people do this!?)
  • When you put a train ticket through the turnstiles, a 4-digit number is printed on it. The middle two will tell you if your love will be a success or not. (Yet no one can tell me what those numbers should be. Any ideas?)
  • Spot 100 Volkswagen cars (apparently not specifically Bugs! Any will do!) and your wish will come true. Alas, if you see a red one, you have to start from zero again.

 So Detailed They Must Be True?

unserrated 10 yen coin

Non-serrated 10 yen coin. We’re good to go!

  •  Make a call using the only gold-colored public phone in Yotsuya (an area in Tokyo) and your affections will be answered by the one you love. However, be sure not to use a ギザ十(ぎざじゅう/giza-jyuu/”jagged ten”). The giza-jyuu is a 10 yen coin with a serrated edgeーthis particular type of 10 yen coin was only produced between 1951 and 1958. 10 yen coins made after this period have smooth edges (see picture).
  • Take a fallen eyelash and place it on the index of your right hand. Blow on it, and if it successfully flies away, your dreams of true love will come true.
  • Grow the nail of your index finger on your left hand to 7mm, and paint it a soft pink and boom! Love will come your way.
  • When talking to your loved one on the phone, ask which ear they’re holding the receiver to. If they’re holding it up to their right ear, ask them to switch to the left. (Yeah, because that’s not going to weird them out at all…) The reason being that supposedly information entering the left ear will connect to the right side of the brain, which connects received information with how it feels to the receiver, rather than what it means. (I reckon if the person hasn’t hung up on you after the mega-weird request to switch ears you may be alright, but otherwise this seems like you’re ruining your chances wit said person rather than increasing them.)


Have you heard of any of these superstitions? Do you know any other weird ones?


6 responses to “Japanese Superstitions: Falling in Love”

  1. Marta says:

    Same here! I had only heard the eyelash one, but not related to love (you make a wish and if you blow the eyelash off then it will become true). Most of these “superstitions” sound as if they had been made up by teenagers hahaha.
    Marta recently posted…Chinese New Year decorations in Shanghai

    • Ri says:

      Yup I think they areーurban legends and so on. It’s so interesting that people older than that I asked had the same, or at least similar ones!

  2. Some of these are so interesting and most defy all logic and reasoning. For example, growing your index fingernail to 7mm and spotting 100 Volkswagen cars (but if it is red, you need to start again – but in Taiwan, red is considered lucky). Do people just randomly make these up? However, it does say a lot about the people in Japan and their value on superstitions and love. I guess if you believe in something so much that it will eventually come true!

    And now I know what you will be doing when you go see the sakura blossoms this spring!! [wink, wink]
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…Welcoming the Year of the Goat – Chinese New Year Decorations [A Photo Essay]

    • Ri says:

      I suspect there is a lot of the “random people making things up” for these, but they seem to be widespread enough to be in several places online or known by people I’ve asked.

      Haha, I’ll certainly try! I’m glad it’s not a high number like 17, or 23… That would be a much higher hurdle. XD

  3. Jessica says:

    This is SOOOO interesting! I have only heard about the eyelash one. But I didn’t know about the specific finger, or that it was specifically related to a love wish, or that it is believed in here in Japan!

    I don’t know where I learned about the eyelash superstition, but it was growing up in Australia. When one of your eyelashes fell out, you would pick it up (I guess it would usually end up on my right index finger anyway seeing as though I’m right handed) and blow on it, and supposedly whatever you wished would come true. I still do it to this day! Haha

    Thank you for this very insightful cultural piece!
    Jessica recently posted…My Sri Lanka

    • Ri says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! (And following up on Twitter so I could make sure it didn’t disappear!)

      Haha yes, there are some quirky beliefs, right? And so interesting that many seem universalーup to a point. The eyelash one for example, I learned the same as you, with no real specifics.

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