On a chilly afternoon of February, I visited the Sensouji Temple in Asakusa, Japan. Foreigners and locals alike flocked the temple.
One thing that caught my eye was this — people swarmed the several stations which featured these wooden compartments.
It was a “fortune box” which the Japanese called Omikuji!
Omikuji, according to Wikipedia, are random fortunes written on strips of paper. It is said that the fortune cookie was derived from this old Japanese tradition.
Before you take your fortune, you are to donate 100 yen (approx. PHP49) and drop it in a donation box among these wooden compartments. Noone is there monitoring you so this is purely honesty system.
After which, you pick up the wooden cylinder full of sticks inside. It has a small hole enough for one stick to come out when you shake it. You are to pray for your wish while you shake the cylinder several times. When a stick comes out, there is a marked character engraved on the stick. There will be a corresponding compartment with the same character as that engraved on the stick. That compartment holds your fortune!
When spring comes, willows are in bud. Just like flowers bloom in old branches, something happy will come. There is still frost and snow, but brilliant happiness is in it. Your fortune is always good, never be destroyed.
Your wishes will be realized. A sick person will recover. The lost article will be found. The person you are waiting will come but late. Building a new house and removal are good. Making a trip has no problem. Marriage and employment are all good.
Oh, how I love my fortune. And yes, some of them are quite true.