Omikuji/ Fortunes

Like many shrines and temples, Ninna-ji has omikuji (fortunes) available for your fortune-telling needs. There are many different ways to choose a fortune, they might be sold in a vending machine that gives you a random fortune, you might be instructed to draw a numbered sticks discover which fortune is yours, or you might simply pull one fortune out of a bin. You might find fortunes that have English translations on the back, but just in case you find yourself with an all Japanese fortune, I will introduce some of the main types of luck being described on most omikuji.

First is your general level of luck:  運勢 (unsei) Luck/ Fortune

There are multiple levels you might get. There is an order of best luck to worst luck, though the collection of fortunes you take from might not include all levels. This is not a complete list, there are more in-between luck levels and more curse levels, it all depends on the types of fortunes available at that location

大吉 (daikichi) Great Blessing > 中吉 (chūkichi) Middle Blessing > 小吉 (shōkichi) Small Blessing > 吉 (kichi) Blessing > 未吉 (suekichi) Near Blessing > 凶 (kyō) Curse > 大凶 (daikyō) Great Curse

There seems to be some different understandings about the exact hierarchy, I referred to this site (in Japanese) to order the levels.

The general level of luck is easiest to understand, after that there are fortunes for specific things in your life. I can offer you some common categories but the details depend on the fortune in question. I referred to one of our omikuji for these categories and noticed that the categories are spelled one way and pronounced another. The meaning remains the same, but be careful about using these kanji and reading combinations outside of omikuji.

願望 (negaigoto wishes and desires

待人 (machibitosomeone you are waiting for

失物 (usemonosomething you have lost

旅行 (tabidachitravel

商売 (akinaibusiness

学問 (gakumonstudy and learning

相場 (sōbastock market

争事 (arasoi dispute

恋愛 (renairomance

転屋 (yautsuri) moving residences

出産 (osan pregnancy and giving birth

病気 (yamai sickness

縁談 (endan marriage

There are two types of omikuji at Ninna-ji, the type below costs ¥200 and come with a little charm that is any 1 of 12 possible designs. They are all in Japanese, though, so have a dictionary handy if you need one!Omikuji/ Fortunes