*First broadcast on October 7, 2021. In Japan, a great number of places, objects and customs are considered to be auspicious. Examples include beckoning cats called "maneki neko," and a special meal eaten on New Year's Day. Our guest is Shintani Takanori, who has been studying folk customs for many years. He explains the rituals and beliefs associated with visiting a shrine. He describes the complex meaning behind well-known customs. And he talks about a Japanese tendency to keep seeking out new sources of good fortune.
Maneki Neko ("beckoning cats") are symbols of good luck
Fortune slips called "omikuji" are available at many shrines
In "yosemoji," a type of lettering used at theaters, each character is very carefully shaped, in order to attract good luck