Last Saturday, before the hanabi began, a group of us went to the massive Asauksa Kannon Temple . It’s one of the most famous temples in Tokyo, and attracts hordes of people on weekends and holidays. Here it is (debuting some HDR imaging here for the first time, too):
One thing you can often find at Japanese temples are omikuji, or written fortunes. For a small donation of 100 yen (AUD $1) to the temple, you get pick a random fortune, lucky dip style. They come in set levels, from really good to terrible calamity. Here’s my fortune, conveniently translated into English:
“We wonder why so many barriers are on our way, repeatedly. Intimate people are getting off one by one. Being pushed under the heavy wheel, we are forced to stay its under with hard trouble. Gold, treasure and wealth are burred underground, the chance doesn’t come to us yet.
* Request will not be granted. * The patient will not be cured. * The lost article will not be found. * The person you wait for will not come. * Building a new house and removal are both bad. * You should stop to start a trip. * Both marriage and employment are bad.”
Yep, no pussy-footing around like those horoscopes in the paper. My doom appears to be assured. Though that bit about intimate people is kind of interesting. The optimal choice is apparently a daily regime of wallowing in my own filth, nursing cheap whisky in a brown paper sack.
But wait! It turns out there’s an out! To make your fortune come true, you have to tie it up. So, if you don’t tie it up, or tie it up in the special place for bad fortunes, it’s negated. Another temple I visited had a series of woven ropes to do just this, and you can see that many people had been there before:
It’s funny – at the temple above, I got another bad fortune too. I was getting a bit worried about this trend, but as one of the guys reminded me:
“So, how are things going for you at the moment?”
“Well, pretty well, actually.”
“So there you go. This is your rock bottom. Things can only get better from here.”
Maybe I get promoted to Jebus soon. Thank you, terrible fortune!