As a country that has a reputation for being able to keep solid records, Japan has always been a culture defined by the roles that numbers play in the country. Also, there is a prevalent gambling culture and devoted to the power and auspicious possibility with certain numbers being the mark of bravery and of possessing a bit of the gamblers spirit as numbers. The name of numbers and the role that they can play in the way people live their lives is sure to have some inclusion in numerical superstitions.
In Japanese culture numbers and number combinations often hold some sort of specific cultural significance. Two good examples of that are the numbers 8 and 6, arguably the two luckiest numbers in Japan. These numbers can be seen in several different places in Japanese culture and architecture especially in many of the business of spiritual buildings in the country. These numbers are as much sought after as the number 13 is avoided in American culture. The number eight, in particular, is called, “sue-hirogari” that is linked to being increasingly successful.
The Number Seven
This number is considered very lucky in many cultures outside of Japan. This number has a reputation for being a focal point of good fortune and is an important number in Shinto architecture. This number is considered to be universally lucky amongst all cultures with, seven days in a week, Seven Wonders of the World, seven colors of the spectrum of vision, and seven virtues. But in Japanese culture this rings with more resonance, as one of the best films ever made by a Japanese director, Shichi-nin no Samurai (Seven Samurai) carries the tradition of the lucky number into popular thinking. In social constructs of the culture particularly it is traditional to celebrate the seventh day after a baby has been born and to mourn on the seventh day after a loved one’s death. Also in the Buddhism the number 7 is often associated with reincarnation.
The Number 7 is the Chinese Connection
There are some shared philosophies in the distinct cultures of Japanese and Chinese numerology with similar attitudes towards the number seven. In several dialects, the number refers is a symbol of togetherness and is lucky in relationships. This belief is something that both cultures share and you can often see it in several different variations throughout the world of dating in Japan today.
4 & 9
These two numbers both separately and in combination are considered to be significantly bad luck. The reason for this opinion that the 4 (し) is pronounced shi; which is the same as( 死) death, an obviously scary prospect, while the number 9 is pronounced (く) ku as in (苦)pain. Consequently, people avoid these numbers every day in Japan, especially gamblers. This belief also explains the particular dislike among the Japanese of the number 13 and Friday the 13th in particular as 4+9=13, or pain and death equal bad luck.