Tag Archives: 4

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.

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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.

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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.