Tuesday, January 03, 2006

HATSUMODE

Today, I went to a neighborhood shrine for hatsumode (that's your first trip to the shrine in the new year). My omikuji (a fortune printed out on a small rectangle of paper) was the worst one they manufacture. In fact, it's such a rare event that you get the doom and gloom prediction that it's almost lucky. (Side note: confusingly enough, it's also considered bad luck to get the best fortune on your hatsumode - the rationale being that you don't want to use up all your luck for the year - or for your life - this hatsumode season.) According to whoever is in the job of writing these things, if I lose something, I will never find it. If I wait for someone, he will never come. If I fight, I will lose. Et cetera et cetera and so forth. As is the custom when one picks an unfavourable fortune, I tied it to a designated tree in the shrine.

On our way home, we came across a fountain with a dragon spout. Both my sensei and I are dragons, so we decided to take a picture. As the picture was being taken, I heard a clinking sound - as if someone dropped a coin on the stone foundation. I figured I dropped my money and would never find it, as my prediction had stated moments before. I'm not sure if I dropped any of my money, and I certainly didn't find any that came out of my pocket. But when I looked down to find what I had dropped, I found an old Japanese coin, perhaps a century old, caked in mud. I washed it off in the dragon fountain and took it with me for luck. Somehow I don't feel like 2006 is going to be all that bad.

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