“I see, in the future, you are going to at least give birth to a child. Definitely one, and up to four if you choose to.”
I couldn’t help but gawk at such a firm forecast of my life. The fortune teller has told me many other stories about my future, but they were all told under opaque predictions and probabilities – however, bearing a child was provisioned as my inevitable destiny. Fortunately, the astrology signs explain that I do have many opportunities to get married, but due to my highly critical and skeptical personality as “the sun”, I keep on missing the chances. Such factors made me wonder– Are there any chances that I would neglect all of my marriage opportunities but still get impregnated due to my fate? Now that will be a terrifying situation for me, as I will engage in childbirth and marriage as one. (I am very aware that there are many cultural/individual preferences) Yet in a way, I must acknowledge that birth before marriage very much aligns with the life of the Virgin Mary. I mean, how cool is that? The prophecy might be inclining that I am potentially a mother of a new religious leader. Who knows.
Overall, it was my first time trying out fortune telling. Of course, hearing about all the upcoming provisions was interesting enough, but the experience of sharing the moment with other fellow members was what enhanced the overall excitement. Reacting to each other’s prophets and exchanging opinions was what made it into a wholesome event.
I believe there are some opinions that fortune telling is lame, suspicious, and full of bamboozles. We cannot provide actual evidence for the possible future events. Or why would our fate be provided merely by the time and date we came out of a womb? These are certainly good points to discuss. I believe that it would be an arrogant attitude to unconditionally deride something simply because it is unverifiable or uncertain.
What is considered “right” or the “eternal truth” differs in the dynamics of hegemonic ideology. (Modern) Science and practicalism are, in a way, merely trendy ways of seeing things in the contemporary era. Fortune telling may be obsolete considering the mainstream today, but it was “trendy” and heavily valued in the pre-modern era. Science and prophecy in a way hold the same values for us humans. So, if there is anyone out there who’s straining so hard to “prove” that fortune telling is all nonsense should be disregarded, please, I understand but there isn’t much point to it, and you should take your time to consider why you are so offended by such ideas.
Nevertheless, I assume that many who come to fortune telling today, simply come for little enjoyment and entertainment with no such grave intentions. I was one of them that day.
So, if you want to experience a little fun and unexpectedness, why not get yourself sitting in front of the crystal ball? They will be waiting for you.
“Can we win the lottery, if we are subject to the fortune teller?”
To confirm this theory, I went to the fortune teller shop “華陽園 Kayoen” in Yokohama Chinatown on June 19. By the way, this is the first time that I have been there. And I hold the opinion that I could approach fortune tellers without any preconceived biases. What kind of results can I see?
First, let me introduce the characteristics of 華陽園 Kayoen and the fortune teller sen-sei.
On the main street of Yokohama Chinatown stands a famous shop. It is a valuable shop that does fortune telling in languages other than Japanese, such as English, Chinese and Korean. As the sign says, the easiest way is by palm reading. The fee is 1,000 yen for about 10 minutes.
Jin Seiun Sen-sei
Active as a magazine fortune navigator and astrological researcher. She uses various methods, including palmistry, physiognomy, nice star astrology, four-poster astrology, tarot, and divination, to provide suggestions for improving one’s daily life.
There are many word-of-mouth reports on the Internet saying that Jin’s fortune-telling is accurate, and at the end of November 2020, the number of people he has consulted exceeded 72,000 (see Jin Sen-sei’s website).
This time, I requested the “Palmistry + Four Pillars of Divination” course. When asked, “Can you tell me what to buy for the lottery?” He said, “It is difficult to say which ticket to buy, but I can tell you which direction is the best for you. Since the lottery is all about luck, it seems that fortune-telling, which looks at a person’s own fortune, is not compatible with accurately guessing the winning lottery ticket.
However, he said that we can see the direction and time of the year that are compatible with each other, so we decided to change the direction into the theory of using fortune-telling to create a good situation that will win the lottery.
According to the Four Pillars of Fortune method of fortune-telling, I am compatible with the direction south of my house. During the interview, he also said that the compatibility of the direction changes depending on the time of the year, and that I should buy a lottery ticket at a place in the direction of the south during June.. Jin Sensei’s manner of speaking was calm and had an atmosphere that made me want to believe him. For example, even at the beginning of the fortune-telling session, he said, “Basically, you are stubborn. But you could be a teacher. Your calmness is also suited to the job, you will often look at others to see if they are the right type”.
Jin Sen-sei also explains the waves of luck. He explained that we need to be careful during “月破Gekppa,” a period when things seem to be going well, but if we let our guard down, we will fail. He advised us to double-check and act early. I took his words to heart, and my own fortune-telling session came to an end.
A day after my reading, I actually bought a lottery ticket in the southern direction of my house. Following his advice, I bought the lottery between 9 – 11 a.m., the time he says will bring good luck.
The result was … Unfortunately, everything I bought was a miss (frustrating!). However, it was a good time to dream of. In my case, although the lottery was the main focus, but at the same time, it was quite an interesting experience to have my personality and future plans appraised as well. I thought it was a good idea to have a fortune-telling session for entertainment or consultation, even for a purpose different from mine.
June 19th, our team went to fortune-telling in Yokohama 00. Before going to the interview, I thought that all kinds of fortune-telling, including palmistry and tarot, were unscientific and illogical. It is because if fortune-telling is correct, it means that fate exists, but I personally do not believe in fate. However, through this interview, I was surprised that I could say that this prejudice to fortune telling has changed.
During the interview, three members of the fortune-telling team, including myself, were given advice for about an hour each based on the date and time of birth. It was said that the date of birth would create four pillars to represent the person. Among the four pillars, there are also representative animals that show one’s personality, and in my case, the tiger was the representative animal.It is said that these representative animal of a person’s birth year shows their character, and that it can predict major events in their future. In my case, I was told that there is a high possibility of getting married or getting pregnant in 2029.
Through the session of palm reading, I gained insights into my future health and love life. Especially for me, who was concerned about my fortune related to health, to solve my doubts. After the interview, it was very interesting to compare the results with the other two members and find similarities or differences.
People are always anxious about their future.Even if the predictions are not completely accurate, the ability to gain even a slight hint of what the future may hold, such as whether we will pass an exam or succeed in job hunting, can help alleviate anxiety. This is why I believe that fortune-telling can have a positive impact on our mental state. I want to know the principles and formulas for interpreting fate according to the date of birth, and I also want to study fortune if I have the opportunity. Of course, it’s not good to rely too much on fortune telling, but I think it will be a good experience to try it out once or twice.
With the spread of COVID-19, socioeconomic activities have been shifted from offline and face-to-face services to online and remote services, and fortune-telling, which was mainly conducted eye to eye, has also begun to be performed indirectly. Therefore, I chose to try telephone fortune-telling, which stimulated my curiosity the most, from many different forms available.
Telephone fortune-telling was not much different from the ordinary face-to-face fortune-telling except for the fact that people don’t actually have to go to the store and meet the fortune-teller directly, but rather the consultation is conducted over the phone. Before I got a phone call from the fortune teller, I gave basic information about myself including date of birth and the time of birth. Based on these information, I was given a comprehensive evaluation of my natural personality, occupation, love life, and other aspects.As a third-year university student, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my future life recently, so I mainly asked questions and consulted on this point.
“You have 海外運, and it’s very strong until your late 20s, so I think it’s better for you to live abroad in your 20s if possible, and if you want to get a job, you’d better get a job at a foreign company.”
‘This is the reason why people go for fortune-telling!’ I thought about this during the 20 minutes of counseling. Initially, my main intention for trying out fortune-telling was to satisfy my curiosity, being my first experience with it. However, after the consultation ended, I felt a sense of liberation. What I really liked about it was that I was able to talk freely on the topics that I feel difficult to consult even to my parents and my close friends. It was not that I got a clear answer to the problems that I had in my life, but it was a time where I could learn and think more about who I am and what I really want.
In the age of remote work, the number of places that offer fortune telling without the need to visit shops has increased exponentially, which enabled beginners like me to experience it without much hesitation. For those who want to talk about their worries without worrying about what others think, I believe experiencing the world of fortune-telling could be a good option.
Written by Mio Suzuki, Kotaro Miyake, Jisun Park and Bohyoung Jung.
Edited by Lucy Wu.