More thumb (and random Japanese) superstitions

If a funeral hearse drives past, you must hide your thumb in a fist. This is because the Japanese word for thumb literally translates as “parent-finger” and hiding it is considered protection for your parent. If you don’t, your parent will die.

When you are nervous, write “human beings” ( “ningen” 人間 ) in Japanese on your palm three times and pretend to swallow them. It will help you to relax.

Answer a telephone call with the phrase “moshi moshi” to ensure that you’re not a shape-shifting fox in human disguise because foxes can’t say “moshi moshi.”



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