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- There are several unlucky numbers in Japanese. Traditionally, 4 and 9 are unlucky. Four is sometimes pronounced shi, which is also the word for death. Nine is also sometimes pronounced ku, which can mean suffering. 13 is also occasionally thought of as unlucky, although this is imported from Western culture. Because of these unlucky numbers, sometimes levels or rooms with 4 or 9 in them don't exist in hospitals or hotels, and particularly in the maternity section of a hospital, the room number 43 is avoided because it can literally mean "still birth". Therefore, when giving gifts such as sets of plates, they are normally sets of three or five, never four.
- The Shichi-fuku-jin (七福神) is the Seven Gods of Luck in Japanese folklore. They are comical deities, often portrayed riding together on a treasure ship (takarabune). They carry various magical items such as an invisible hat, rolls of brocade, an inexhaustible purse, a lucky rain hat, robes of feathers, keys to the divine treasure house and important books and scrolls. Here are the names and the features of the Shichi-fuku-jin.
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- Daikoku (大黒) --- The god of wealth and farmers. He holds a big bag filled with treasures on his shoulder and an uchideno-kozuchi (lucky mallet) in his hand.
- Bishamon (毘沙門) --- The god of war and warriors. He wears a suit of armor, a helmet and is armed with a sword.
- Ebisu (恵比寿) --- The god of fishermen and wealth. He holds a large, red tai (sea bream) and a fishing rod.
- Fukurokuju (福禄寿) --- The god of longevity. He has an elongated bald head and a white beard.
- Juroujin (寿老人) --- Another god of longevity. He wears a long white beard and a scholar's cap, and is often accompanied by a stag, which is his messenger.
- Hotei (布袋) --- The god of happiness. He has a jolly face and a big fat belly.
- Benzaiten (弁財天) --- The goddess of music. She carries a biwa (Japanese mandolin).
There is another numerical system in Japanese, which is the native Japanese numbers. The native Japanese numbers are limited to one through ten.
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