16. Tucking In The Thumbs At A Cemetery
We talked about evil numbers and bad omens, and a few ways to ward them off. Here is another way of keeping the bad omen at bay – Japanese Style.
Like the Chinese associate the number “four” with evil owing to its homophonous pronunciation with the word “death” in Chinese, the word “thumb” in Japanese means “parent thumb”.
Hence, while visiting a cemetery, the Japs tend to tuck their thumbs inside the cemetery in order to protect their loved ones, especially parents, from falling prey to the evil spirit.
So, if you ever visit Japan and happen to cross a graveyard or a hearse, you will witness people tucking their thumbs in. But hey, don’t bother asking them the reason!
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