April 16, 2003
Luck falls down
Tod is looking very thoughtful as he waits for a plate of fried rice at a restaruant in Suidobashi.
Above his head, hanging over the door, is a small tapestry embroidered with the kanji for “luck.” It caught my eye because it’s hanging upside down.
“Oh, yeah. Luck falls from heaven,” Tod explained. “So you hang the kanji upside down.”
Just like putting a lucky horseshoe over the door with the opening at the top so the luck doesn’t fall out.
Posted by kuri at April 16, 2003 12:25 PM
is that actually true, about the upside down kanji, or was he just employing sophistry?
Actually true according to the knowledgable friend who relayed the information to Tod. Of course, that friend may have been pulling Tod’s leg.
Actually, it IS true. I’m Chinese and if you visit some Chinese homes, particularly during Chinese New Year, the good-luck type characters will be hung upside down. Although, if it is a proper piece of calligraphy scroll, it probably will be hung normally.
I have heard a different story about the origin of this custom, also from Chinese. According to my Chinese friend, the word for “upside down” in Chinese has the same sound as the word for “stick” so the hope is that by hanging fuku upside down, luck will stick to you.