As for most of the Western world the number 13 is considered unlucky, the corresponding superstition in Asia indicates the number 4. In Japan, 4 is pronounced shi, which is the same pronunciation as for “death", and because of this, superstitions related to 4 were observed since the old times. For example, even today, gifts should never be made of 4 pieces, the number 4 is rarely used to number a room, and in some high-rise buildings, 4 is skipped when numbering the floors.
But probably the most interesting superstition related to 4 is the tatami rule: it is forbidden to adjoin 4 tatami mats in one point (in such a way as to form a cross) because in that case it is believed that the house will be unlucky. And as you can see in the photo, such restriction brought up some very ingenious designs…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: