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六曜 ROKUYO – A warning

"It's bad luck to be superstitious." (Andrew Mathis)

We don't want to be seen as promoters of the idea of Rokuyo – we reject the notion that it has any mystical power at all.

Here we explain why.

六曜 ROKUYO – A warning

Zodiac signs

Some refer to it as science, some pseudoscience, and some consider it religion. Whatever it is, Rokuyo suffers the same basic problem as astrology.

Many people believe that the alignment of distant planets on their birth date can affect their lives. Maybe it can, but compared with what's happening on this planet, while we are living our lives now, must surely have infinitely more impact on our lives than astrology. And yet people change their actions according to some ancient sage's interpretation of distant planets. Very strange behaviour.

Before we delve into astrology too deeply, let's look at some fundamental flaws:

  • Orientation: Astronomers of old had a geocentric belief that Earth was at the centre of the Universe, and the heavens rotated around the inside surface of a gigantic spherical ball. There is little similarity between this imagination and the observations of today's scientific astronomers. Astrologers, however, retain this geocentric concept.
  • Calibration: The zodiac used today was formulated some 2,500-3,000 years ago and since then, the Earth has changed its tilt (by about 30° to the west) as it revolves around the sun, due the moon's gravitational pull. Its axis no longer points to where it did when the Babylonians mapped the heavens. So if the solstice points were remapped when you were born, your star sign would be different.
  • Celebration: When is our birth date? That is, when do we become beings? Or souls? Why should the zodiac be based on the time we take our first breath of fresh air? Are we not a being before that? At conception perhaps? Twins share the same 'birth sign', yet often have different personalities and talents. And, of course, different luck!
  • Rationalisation: Why should the position of distant planets on our birth day, have any effect at all on our lives? Why not the altitude, weather, air pressure, the local level of xenon gas in the air, magnetic field, or any other of the countless components of our very first environment? Why should we accept that the local environment has no significance, yet the position of stars thousands of years ago and billions of miles away dictate our future? The only force distant stars and planets have is their own gravity. This has negligible effect on Earth.

Thousands of years ago planets were considered gods and their brilliance and mystery gave people astrology. We have now lost touch with these gods, but some people still hang on to the ideas.

The same arguments apply to Rokuyo.

Therefore since the world has still
Much good but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure
Luck's a chance but trouble's sure,
I'd face it as a wise man would,
And train for ill and not for good.

A E Houseman

Somebody emailed us recently, asking which Rokuyo day it was on their wedding date, twelve years ago. They're now divorcing and wondered if their marriage failed because their wedding was on the 'wrong' day. It's useful to be able to put the blame on somebody or something else when things go wrong. Similarly when things go right, it's tempting to say "That proves Rokuyo / astrology / tea-leaf-reading works!"

But let's see how this stands up. Here are seven world famous events from the past few years:

  • Terrorist attack in New York on 11 September 2001. Rokuyo day: shakku. Bad luck all day (except at noon), which seems to support the Rokuyo pattern. And yet this was very good news for the people who orchestrated the attack. So the 'support' for Rokuyo can be rather subjective.
  • Tsunami disaster in Asia on 26 December 2004. Rokuyo day: sakigachi. Good luck in the morning, bad luck in the afternoon. Oh dear... The earthquake that created the tsunami occurred at 7:59 in the morning. This doesn't fit in well with Rokuyo. Let's look at another example:
  • Hurricane Katrina smashed into Louisiana on 29 August 2005 and claimed 1,836 lives. Rokuyo day was again, sakigachi: good luck in the morning. Well, the hurricane made landfall in the morning, so there's another misfit for Rokuyo.
  • Cyclone Nargis on 2 May 2008 was much more devastating. 146,000 deaths officially recorded before the government stopped counting and thousands more people are missing, presumed dead. And the Rokuyo day? Lucky taian!
  • The 2010 Haiti earthquake was on 12 January 2010. This was a tomobiki day, which is supposed to be good luck all day, except at noon. But an earthquake is no respecter of time and struck at 4:53 p.m. It is estimated that over 300,000 people died.
  • The Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded at 21:56 on 20 April 2010. Eleven people were killed and many injured. The subsequent oil spill. in the Gulf of Mexico is now considered the largest environmental disaster in US history. The Rokuyo calendar shows it was sakimake, which is supposed to bring good fortune in the afternoon. It didn't.
  • Finally, returning to Rokuyo's home here in Japan, the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. This killed thousands and led to a tsunami, which killed thousands more. The earthquake also caused one of the world's biggest radiation leaks from the Fukushima nuclear power station. The earthquake struck on 11 March 2011, another tomobiki day, which is supposed to unlucky only at noon. The magnitude 9 earthquake struck at 2:46 p.m. and the resulting 15-metre-high tsunami reached the shores a few hours later, wiping towns and villages off the map.

Of course, nobody is suggesting that disasters and terrorist attacks are just 'bad luck'. Quite the opposite – for the shareholders of matériel suppliers, such an event is extremely 'good luck'. (Not to mention the hundreds of scam websites that always spring up within days of any disaster, to siphon donations to relief efforts.)

For Cyclone Nargis it's less easy to see any good fortune from the event. The government has become more open to foreign aid since the disaster, but little else to support the notion that taian had any good luck for the nation. Many people will never recover and yet some Western companies will benefit from piecemeal reconstruction. And this brings us to the point we are trying to make:

Good fortune for one person almost invariably means a penalty for somebody else. Of course, everybody wants to have good luck and fortune – it's in our sorry greedy nature.

Remember Salim Sdiri of France? No? Well, I'm sure Tero Pitkämäki of Finland will.

13 July 2007 (Friday 13th, generally bad luck but also Tomobiki – good luck all day, except at noon) saw them at a GIAAF Golden League meet in Rome's Olimpico Stadium. Tero's sport is the javelin; Sdiri's sport is the long jump.

Tero threw his spear 80 metres, and Sdiri caught it. In his back, straight into a kidney! Talk about unlucky Friday 13th! Of course, if it struck him a few centimetres higher it would have killed him, so he was lucky there. And being out of the competition meant the other long jumpers had a better chance of winning. So lucky for them too.

And staying with sport: The opening ceremony of 2008 Olympics in Beijing was deliberately chosen to be 8 p.m. on 8 August (8/8/8/8); eight being an auspicious number. On the same day, people went onto the streets around the world to recall the 20th anniversary of a protest on 8 August 1988 (8/8/88), when millions of Burmese had marched throughout the country calling for an end to military rule. After that march, three thousand protesters were executed.

But isn't astrology just a bit of innocent fun?

Well, perhaps it may be, but taking astrology seriously can have tragic consequences.

Consider how many people have consulted astrology to determine the sex of an unborn child, and aborted the baby if the result was undesirable.

Accuracy of an astrological prediction of a baby's sex is at best only 50%.

And what if the child later becomes pansexual? 

Please enjoy the Rokuyo pages, but put no faith in the system. Don't even be tempted to dabble in it. Rokuyo, invented by some unknown philosophers hundreds of years ago, is no match for the power you can generate within yourself to change your life. Be assured that you will get much more benefit in life by putting faith in yourself, your family, your friends, and of course, your God.

(This page was updated on 6 June 2006. That's 6/6/6, supposedly the mark of the Devil. And yet nothing unusually bad happened on that day...)

"Experience and wisdom are the two best fortune tellers." (Anon)

Other 'lucky' pages:

Oil company PR departments prefer the soft word "spill", rather than more devastating terms such as "gush"

<pansexual> (adj.): having a variety of sexual interests, especially kitchen utensils

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