Whistle the Night Away……Or Maybe Not

How many of you know how to whistle?

Whistling has never been something that I’ve been any good at. No matter how had I try it just never works. However, this superstition makes me a bit glad that I can’t whistle I think.

In Japan, perhaps dating back to the feudal era, whistling was a popular form of communication for burglars and other criminals. After all, anyone can overhear a conversation but trying to distinguish a whistle pattern is a lot more challenging if you don’t already know the code.


The word for a night burglar is yatou (夜盗). The first kanji means “night” and the second kanji means “steal” or “rob”; together they literally translate to “night stealing”. In small villages, anytime whistling was heard at night it was quickly associated with criminal activity. It quickly became a superstition that if you whistled at night you would attract intruders, burglars, and other criminals into your home; sometimes even a snake!

So, should you feel the need to whistle, double check the time. If the sun isn’t up, you may want to rethink your desire to whistle. You wouldn’t want to attract anything unsavory to your home!

~ Jordan

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