Unlucky Year s “Yakudoshi” and the 40th Birthday

In Japan, we have “Unlucky Years” called “Yakudoshi”. We say that unlucky things happen to you during the “Yakudoshi” years. The years come to you when you are 19, 33 and 37 years old for females, and 25, 42 and 61 years old for males. The year before and after each of the years is pre and post unlucky year, therefore, you need to be careful too. So technically, “Yakudoshi” continues for 3 years every time. This is a very old belief with no scientific proof, but this idea still remains and somehow the majority of us in Japan believe it.

And…, just be careful, as how to count your age is different from the normal way. We have to think how old you will become (or you became) this year and add 1 on it. For example, if you are 39 years old now and your birthday has not come yet, you are 41 years old under the “Yakudoshi” chart, just like my husband.

It sounds really horrible and harsh, doesn’t it? It does…. It sounds just scary. In Japan, what we normally do to get rid of the unluckiness is to go to a shrine and pray. A priest at a shrine can perform a special “Yakudoshi” purification for you. There is a special charm “Omamori” available in a shrine, which is believed to protect us from the unluckiness or evil.

On the other hand, my mum always tells me that it is not a “bad “year, just an “unlucky” year, so we do not need to worry too much. The important thing is to behave, do the right things and don’t forget to appreciate others. Just do what people are supposed to do and do not bring evil in your mind. This will help to reduce your unluckiness or assist you in getting out from the unluckiness which might have occurred.

Maybe my mum just tried to be positive, but somehow for me, this thought makes sense. I guess you cannot be lucky all the time in your life, however, if you live properly, maybe unluckiness will not grow too big to handle.

My husband has just turned to 40 (pre-Yakudoshi Year). We headed south to celebrate. His parents and his best friend joined us. We had his birthday lunch at Voyager Winery. It was a fabulous long weekend. Although I’m not sure if “Yakudoshi” affects Australians, considering the fact that he has wonderful parents and a best friend travelling interstate for him, I think that no unluckiness has come close to him.


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