Yukari Nozawa doesn’t think much about the myriad Shinto, Buddhist and even Christian customs she follows.
There’s the Bon holidays in mid-August, for example, when she visits her family grave in Niigata Prefecture to honor the souls of her ancestors believed to return from the netherworld. She has been invited to Christian-style weddings and has attended Christmas Mass in the past, the latter out of curiosity.
Just recently, she visited Tokyo’s Kanda Myojin Shrine for a purification ritual to dispel bad luck associated with her age. At 31 (or 32 in the East Asian system of age reckoning), she is maeyaku, or the year before what’s considered women’s yakudoshi — the age of misfortune, according to folk traditions.