Japanese Shoe Superstitions

According to Japan, there are quite a few things you can do with shoes. However, not all of those things are good. Depending on what you do with your shoes, you could bring bad luck or bad omens upon yourself!

Predict The Weather

There is a pretty fun superstition where you can predict the weather simply by tossing a shoe in the air and seeing how it lands. If it lands upright, the weather will be nice. If the shoe lands on it’s side, it will be cloudy out. But if it lands sole up or upside down, it will rain!

This superstition is more popular with kids as a sort of fun game type thing to test out. In Japan, geta sandals are usually used, not only because they are a more common form of footwear, but also probably because of the shape of the sandal. The shape of a geta sandal gives it more landing variation, so they are more fun to use.

Geta Sandals

Have you tried this method of weather prediction? I haven’t but I suppose it doesn’t hurt to give it a try!

Breaking Shoes

If you are to end up breaking a shoe, usually the strap of a geta sandal in Japan, you will get bad luck. This is similar to the Western belief that it is bad luck to break a mirror.

I hope this superstition isn’t true, because the straps to my flip flop sandals are always the first to go!

New Shoes At Night

You’ll bring bad luck your way if you wear the new shoes you just bought at night! This is said because during the Edo period (1603-1868), new shoes were only worn to attend Otsuya (waking ceremony) the night before a funeral. This one seems to be bad luck because it reminds people of death.

Shoes On The Table

If you put your shoes on the table it is believed you will have bad luck for the rest of the day, lose your job or have a fight or argument with someone.

Have you broken the rules for any of these superstitions? If so, hopefully there isn’t much bad luck if it does come your way. Out of all of these superstitions, you can’t go wrong with using your shoes to do some weather forecasting!


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