NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


【吉】 Kitsu,Kichi Luck, Good Luck

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It shows the form of putting 士, a small broadax on top of a 口 prayer or benediction receptacle. Dr. Shirakawa’s Kanji research has first proved that 口 does not mean the human mouth but a ‘norito’ prayer receptacle already fifty years ago. As can also be understood from the character form 王, which shows the head part of a broadax, one generally thought that extraordinary spiritual power resides in weapons like a broadax. What regards the putting of something on the ‘norito’ prayer receptacle, it is similar to the character 悟 (吾) which shows a double lid. Here, however, it is the small broadax, symbol of the warrior class, which was an action widely spread among people to further enhance the effect of prayer. Therefore, it generally is used for benedictions, including also military affairs.
Although there is praying and requesting from God also in monotheism, there is no ‘auspicious’ - ‘inauspicious’ judgment like in Oriental religions when praying and asking for inquiring the chance of realization of a prayer. In Japan, it is usual to draw a ‘omikuji: written fortune oracle,’ at a shrine, in monotheism, however, this is absolutely unthinkable. Such a religious view letting people reflect on their lives by judgment in terms of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness shows that originally there is a basic Oriental tradition of being clear and definite about personal prayers. In this respect, there is no room for the thesis of an original ambiguity of Japanese or East Asian culture as often propounded by Japanese and non-Japanese authors.

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Editoral supervision: Dr. Christoph Schmitz, Researcher of Shirakawa Kanji Science, General and Japanese History of Philosophy and Thought

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