The most popular Japanese symbol of good luck is Maneki Neko (招き猫), the figure of the cat that raises its paw that can be found all over the world today. There are different legends about its origin, but it is believed that its raised left leg calls prosperity and fortune. In its right paw it holds a koban (小判), an ancient Japanese coin, and often wears a bell around its neck to ward off evil spirits.
Another much-loved object that summonses fortune is the Daruma (達磨), the figure that represents a monk without arms and legs whose eye is painted to make a wish, while we wait for its fulfillment to paint the other.
These are just two of the many symbols and rituals that exist in Japanese culture to attract good luck and ward off calamity, such as the aversion that exists in this tradition for the number 4. Related to death, its avoidance reaches the extreme of that in many hotels and hospitals there is no fourth floor or room number 4.
Shintoism, the ancestral religion of Japan, also has numerous rites to attract money, love or fortune, and Buddhism or the animist religions of territories such as Okinawa or Hokkaidō have their own rituals.
How does each of them work and what history and deep meaning lies behind these beliefs? How can we summon good luck with our daily habits?
This book explores all the tools—some magical, others practical—of Japanese culture to attract fortune and the fulfillment of our wishes. In addition to learning the different rituals in an easy and motivating way, we will explore the essence of good luck and how we can incorporate it into our lives with the appropriate habits and attitude.