Never Clip Your Nails at Night!

Hey guys! Kennie here, and today I’m gonna talk about one of my favorite Japanese superstitions! Why you should never clip you nails at night!

“You should never clip your nails at night, or you won’t be with your parents when they die.” This makes it sound like your life will end before your parents will. It may sound ridiculous but I am going to talk about two different theories as to how this superstition got started!

The first one im going to talk about is more of the Japanese play on words. Much like how 4(shi/yon) is considered to be and unlucky number due to it’s similarity to its similar sound to the Japanese word for death(Shinu), this may have a similar case. In Japanese the word for night is 夜(yo), and nails is 爪(tsume). This is very similar to 世詰め(yotsume) which means “to shorten ones age.” So this could just be a case of a play on words due to how similar they sound. I personally like this one and can personally see how it could be applied in this context.

My second theory means this superstition if true and you can accidentally kill yourself. In recent time periods we have nail clippers to trim our nails with, but if we look back, nail clippers were not always a thing. Back in the Edo Period the when their nails needed trimming, instead of reaching for clippers, they would reach for their handy dandy knife.  If you were out in the fields chances are you didn’t have time to trim your nails during the day, so you would trim them at night. With one wrong move and you could possibly harm yourself.

Did you guys like this superstition? Which theory did you like best? Let us know in the comments below!


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