Friday The 13th

13 Feb

今日は十三日の金曜日 (Today is Friday the 13th).

Are you superstitious?

I wonder why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky.

In Japan, the unlucky numbers are four and nine.
American hospitals and hotels don’t have a thirteenth floors (the floor above the twelfth floor is the fourteenth)…in Japanese hospitals and hotels there are no fourth floors.

And old Japanese telephones didn’t have a numeral written on the “four” number slot (old phones were rotary, not push-button). You could dial a “4”…but it wasn’t written.
They don’t make telephone like that anymore, though.

Also, nothing in Japan comes in sets of four (dishes, cups, Chicken McNuggets, etc) are sold in sets of five, usually.
If you give a present to Japanese people…don’t give a set of four.

Unlike “13” in the West, I can tell you exactly why “4” (and to a lesser extent, “9”) are unlucky in Japan.
In the Japanese language, one of the possible pronunciations for “four” (「」) is “shi“…and “death” (「」) is also pronounced “shi“.
“Nine” (「」) can be pronounced “ku“…and “pain” or “bitterness” 「」 can be pronounced as “ku“, also.

+++

明日は「バレンタイン・デー」 (Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day ).

When I came home from work yesterday, my wife and daughters were all in the kitchen making homemade Valentines chocolates.

It smelled wonderful!

I wonder how much is for me. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Click here to read my “Valentines Day” FAQ. And click here to read another post in which I wrote about “Valentines Day” in Japan.

+++

On October 2nd of this year, the host city for the 2016 Olympic Games will be chosen.

Tokyo is one of the four finalist cities. The other three are Chicago, Rio, and Madrid.

Here are the the four 2016 Olympic Applicant City logos:

2016 Olympics Applicant Cities

2016 Olympics Applicant Cities

If Tokyo is chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, I might volunteer my help. It would be fun.

27 Responses to “Friday The 13th”

  1. tokyo5 February 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm #

    Masako…

    Yes, summer in Japan is very hot and humid.
    Isn’t Hawaii the same?

    I grew up in Florida and then moved to Tokyo…so I’ve experienced humid summers my whole life.
    It’s not pleasant…but I’m used to it.

    >like going into a Pachiniko

    Have you tried Pachinko?

    Like

  2. Masako February 15, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    “How often do you come to Japan?”

    We came for the first time in 2004 and been back in 07 and 08 and going again this year. Next year our spring break will be changed to only one week so I’m not sure if we will be going to Japan yearly because I was told its not so good in the summer because of the humidity. I work for the school system so I can only travel on breaks. My husband wants to go to China next summer so if the plane stops over at Narita than I will definitly spend a couple days in Tokyo and see for myself how bad the humidity is.

    “I’ve never been to Las Vegas.”

    Your not missing anything. Its just like going into a Pachiniko place.

    Like

  3. tokyo5 February 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Masako…

    >I have won a little here and there but most of the time I come home with less money.

    I’ve never been to Las Vegas.

    >Now that I like to travel to Japan…

    How often do you come to Japan?

    Like

  4. tokyo5 February 14, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Tom…

    Did you change your site’s URL?
    You should’ve told me. I’ll change the link on my site.

    >I think having the Olympics in Tokyo would just further congest and already congested city

    I think it’ll be good. Sure, it’ll be crowded for a couple weeks…but I bet they’ll add more train lines and make other improvements to the city before the games…which will benefits us residents of Tokyo.

    >but I’d go down for a look.

    Yeah, that’s what I did when the ’98 Olympics were in Nagano. My wife and I took the bullet train to Nagano to check it out.

    We met the famous K-1 fighter Andy Hug there before he died.

    Like

  5. tokyo5 February 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    Wayne…

    >I’m not superstitious about Friday the 13th

    Me, neither.

    >when putting on my shoes and socks, I always put my left oone on before my right.

    Really? Why? You can’t do it the other way?

    >Tokyo is the best prepared right now (for hosting the Olympics) and deserves another one.

    Yeah, I think Tokyo will be chosen to host the games.

    >Take care

    Thanks. You, too.

    Like

  6. Masako February 14, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    I have won a little here and there but most of the time I come home with less money. Now that I like to travel to Japan I only go to Las Vegas if my parents want me to go with them.

    Like

  7. Tom February 14, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    I think having the Olympics in Tokyo would just further congest and already congested city, but I’d go down for a look.

    Like

  8. Wayne February 14, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    tokyo5, I’m not superstitious about Friday the 13th but when putting on my shoes and socks, I always put my left oone on before my right.

    You and I talked about the 2016 Olympics already. Tokyo is the best prepared right now and deserves another one. Just my two cents on this one!

    Take care, have a great Valentine’s Day and weekend!

    Like

  9. tokyo5 February 14, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    In the post above, I wrote:

    I wonder how much (of my wife and kids’ Valentine chocolate) is for me. I’ll find out tomorrow.

    Today is Valentines Day, and they gave me a box full of delicious homemade chocolate!
    🙂

    Like

  10. tokyo5 February 14, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Kelly…

    Thanks for commenting.

    Yeah, I’ve heard China’s unlucky numbers are 4 and 7 (Japan is 4 and 9, as I said above).
    I’ve never heard about “14” in China, though.

    And 8 is lucky in both China and Japan.

    I wrote about “8” being lucky in China and how it affected last year’s Olympics.
    At this post:
    https://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/2008-olympics/

    Like

  11. Kelly February 14, 2009 at 8:04 am #

    4 and 14 are considered unlucky numbers in China and Taiwan. One of the hospitals I visited in Taiwan did have a 4th floor, which was the morgue (quite appropriate, I think).

    Like

  12. tokyo5 February 14, 2009 at 1:32 am #

    gigihawaii…

    >Aren’t there 4 sides to a card table? Don’t you invite a married couple to make it a party of 4?

    Yes, well…luckily, it doesn’t affect daily life to that degree.
    Japanese people have no problems with tables, boxes, squares, groups of four, having four family members, etc.

    Just gifts, hospitals, and hotels basically.

    Thirteen is unlucky in America…but the America flag has thirteen stripes (and used to have thirteen stars), and it bother anyone.

    It’s like that.

    >interesting post.

    Thank you.

    >I wonder if it is true for the rest of Asia.

    I think it’s the same in China because they use kanji sometimes with the same pronunciation as Japanese.

    Like

  13. gigihawaii February 14, 2009 at 1:09 am #

    Crazy! Aren’t there 4 sides to a card table? Don’t you invite a married couple to make it a party of 4?

    Thanks for the interesting post. First time I read this about Japan. I wonder if it is true for the rest of Asia.

    Like

  14. tokyo5 February 13, 2009 at 11:49 pm #

    jplrosman…

    Every year, there’s a Brazilian Samba festival in Tokyo.
    (There’s also an Irish St. Patricks parade every year here, too.)

    Japan had the Soccer World Cup here too. In 2002, Japan and Korea co-hosted it.

    I’m not a soccer fan, though…so I didn’t care about the World Cup.

    Like

  15. jplrosman February 13, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    NO no, we have costume parties usually in Carnaval by the end of February it is huge holiday, very famous for our half naked girls parade Huahuahaua Googleit Carnaval Rio de Janeiro.

    Brazil never hosted the Olympics… but we hosted the World Cup. I believe the Olympics is more global than the world cup… so much better for the its development

    Like

  16. tokyo5 February 13, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    Masako…

    >13 is a lucky number for me, especially in Vegas.

    Have you won at Las Vegas?

    >It seems that things in the US always comes in sets of four.

    I know. It’s common in America for dishes, etc to be sold in sets of four…but not here.
    Japanese like odd numbers more than even. Sets of five are popular (works out good for my family! 😉 )

    >Wow that would be cool to see the Olympic in Japan.

    Yeah, I hope so. We’ll find out in October.

    >I would definitely try to go see it.

    You should.

    Like

  17. Masako February 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm #

    13 is a lucky number for me, especially in Vegas. My grandma taught me about the number 4 not being a good number for Japanese. It seems that things in the US always comes in sets of four.
    Wow that would be cool to see the Olympic in Japan. I would definitely try to go see it.

    Like

  18. tokyo5 February 13, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Eric…

    >I noticed that next month there is also a Friday the 13th. That mustn’t happen very often. Also there’s one in November too. Maybe 2009 is a bad luck year

    Yes, that’s true.
    Every year, except Leap Year, the first 28 days of February, March, and November match.

    Like

  19. Eric February 13, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    I noticed that next month there is also a Friday the 13th. That mustn’t happen very often. Also there’s one in November too. Maybe 2009 is a bad luck year. 😉

    Like

  20. tokyo5 February 13, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    Tornadoes28…

    Thanks for commenting again. Please comment often!

    Yes, Fridays are nice. Especially after “quitting time”!

    BTW, I noticed that your new avatar is a 刀 (Japanese sword)!

    Like

  21. tokyo5 February 13, 2009 at 9:52 am #

    mtbiker28…

    Thanks for explaining about Friday The 13th.
    Very interesting!

    BTW, do you have a blog on WordPress? If so, you should change your profile so that your name is a link to your site.
    I’d like to see your blog!

    Speaking of numbers…does the “28” in your username mean something? Both you and “Tornadoes28” (who commented after you) have “28”.
    Is “28” significant?
    (The “5” is my username is the number of members of my family).

    Just wondering.

    Like

  22. tokyo5 February 13, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    jplrosman…

    >Hey sorry… but a really hope the Olympics happen in Rio

    Of course, you do. It’s your city!
    Has Brazil ever hosted an Olympics before?

    Tokyo hosted the 1964 Olympics. It was the first time the Olympics were hosted in Asia.

    In 1998, Nagano, Japan hosted the Winter Olympics…we took the 新幹線 (bullet train) to Nagano during the ’98 Olympics.

    >I forgot all about tomorrow (it is still Thursday 12th over here) maybe I’m going to a costume horror party…

    Are “Friday The 13th” parties popular in Brazil? I’ve never heard of that before. It’s a good idea.

    Like

  23. Tornadoes28 February 13, 2009 at 4:37 am #

    Fridays have always been good for me however.

    Like

  24. mtbiker28 February 13, 2009 at 4:35 am #

    In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve hours of the clock, twelve Apostles of Jesus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.

    Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. It has also been suggested that Friday was the day that Jesus was crucified.

    Hence, Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in the west.

    Like

  25. jplrosman February 13, 2009 at 2:18 am #

    Hey sorry… but a really hope the Olympics happen in Rio, it would be great for our city, that suffers from a lot of urban violence.
    Maybe with the Olympics we can learn to become more civilized.
    I forgot all about tomorrow (it is still Thursday 12th over here) maybe I’m going to a costume horror party… that would be fun

    Like

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