• SHARE

I like to think of myself as a rational human being most of the time, but I have to suppress a shudder if someone opens an umbrella indoors, and I’d probably comment if a black cat crossed my path.

Most people are like this, and most superstitions are harmless. But some bleed into obsession, and I learned of one this week that is so powerful it caused a decrease in Japan’s birth rate. It comes around once every 60 years and last happened in 1966; the next time will be 2026. It is the superstition centered around the year of hinoeuma: the fire horse.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)