Walk around a major Japanese city at night, and sooner or later you’re bound to come across a tiny, candle-lit table on the sidewalk, usually with a line of young women stretching from it. Contrary to appearances, this is not, in fact, a romantic autograph signing session by the RocketNews24 team, and is instead one of the many street-side fortune tellers who ply their trade in Japan after nightfall.
One of the most popular types of fortune telling is palm reading. Believers claim that by examining the lines of your palm and fingers, an expert can deduce your future and true character. And now, with a simple test you can perform at home, a quick glance at your thumb will also clue you in to the strength of your own personal connection to the spirit world.
In Japan, the term reikan refers to one’s ability to notice and feel the workings of the supernatural. In particular, people with strong reikan are thought to be able to see and hear ghosts, as well as sense the connection of spirits to a place upon entering it for the first time.
It’s said that reikan varies from person to person, a possible explanation as to why some individuals are convinced they’ve had otherworldly encounters, while others are just as sure that such things are impossible. Now, palm readers in Japan are claiming you can check just how strong your reikan is by taking a quick glance at your thumb.
For some people, the creases in the joint of the thumb create a pattern resembling an eye. In Japanese, this phenomenon is known as butsugen no sou, the Mark of the Eye of Buddha.
▼ The Eye of the Buddha, outlined in red
People possessing this mark are said to have particularly strong reikan. For those of you who have the Eye of Buddha and are less than thrilled at your prize being the purported ability to fully experience the terrors involved should vengeful spirits decide to haunt you, take heart: some also claim that having the Eye of Buddha grants psychic powers.
There’s only one time in my life I thought I’d seen a ghost, and it actually turned out to be a hot girl. So, given my lack of contact with visitors from the other side, imagine my surprise when I took a look and noticed that I do in fact have the Eye of the Buddha. Sweet! Does this mean I have telekinesis, too?
▼ Come on, bend, damn you!
Unfortunately, it appears the Eye of Buddha has given me neither the ability to see ghosts nor the ability to move things with my mind. Distraught over the possibility that I may be squandering a gift from the heavens, I turned to my brother for his take on my astounding lack of reikan.
“Yeah, my brain doesn’t have the ability to experience (bull poopy) either.”
Guess it runs in the family.