Japanese Fortune Telling: Of Cats’ Paw-pads, Penguins, Monsters, and Gundams

A couple weeks ago I was riding the train and saw a big poster for a book called Neko no Nikukyuu Uranai (Cat’s Paw-pad Fortune Telling). I thought maybe it was worth writing a post about, but while I was searching for it, I realized it was just the tip of the let’s-invent-ridiculous-fortune-telling-systems-and-sell-them-to-gullible-people iceberg.
Here are some of the weirder ones I found, along with excerpts from the publisher’s descriptions on Amazon.

Cat’s Paw-pad Fortune Telling (Neko no Nikukyuu Uranai)
A cat’s mental condition, its character, tendencies, and even its fate are written on the pads of its paws. This book was written by a writer who has worked for many years at a cat magazine and studied over 100 cats to collect data for the book. It also includes feng shui diagnostics, name fortune telling, and psychological tests.

Hello Kitty Tarot Fortune Telling (Haro- Kitei no Tarotto Uranai)
These 22 tarot cards have Hello Kitty on them. These cards are perfect for people who think the illustrations on tarot cards are scary or difficult to understand.


Angel Numbers: Numbers are Messages from Angels (Enjeru Nanba-: Suuji ha Tenshi no Messe-ji)
Angels are sending you messages through number combinations. When you look at a clock or a car’s license plate, dial the phone, or have an anniversary…if the same numbers often come up, look for a spiritual meaning in them.


Penguin Fortune Telling: Improve Your Ability to Get Along with People! (Pengin Uranai: Anata no Hitozukiai-ryoku ga Agaru!)
You’ll get along with people as smoothly as a penguin swims through the water. Learn the ten types of penguin personalities based on fortune telling based on the pronunciation of people’s names and you’ll learn how you tend to act with people and tricks for getting along with them better.

Capybara Fortune Telling to Bring You Good Fortune (Kaiun Kapibara-san Uranai)
Explains the power and meaning of everyday numbers and colors  and also how to use them, in an easy-to-understand way. In Chapter 1, you learn the best numbers to shoot for when setting goals for things like diets. In Chapter 2, you learn the numbers meanings, and Chapter 3 explains the meanings of colors. [A capybara is a South American Rodent. I have no idea what it has to do with fortune telling.]

The Complete Guide to 12 Animals and 60 Sub-types Mascot Fortune Telling (12 Doubutsu 60 Bunrui Kanzen-ban Masukotto Uranai)
The 12 cute animals are divided into 60 sub-categories, in this ground-breaking, interesting fortune telling system that gets your character and compatibility exactly right. Even though two people might be elephants, since there’s a popular elephant, there must also be an elephant that charges ahead blindly as well!

Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall Fortune telling (Basic Edition) (Shunkashuntou Uranai: Be-shikku -hen)
What are your current and birth seasons? If you adapt your life to the four seasons, you will understand the cycle of luck. By understanding the flow of luck, you’ll know how to act.

Gundam Fortune telling 0079-0080: Complete Analysis of Your Abilities (Gandamu Uranai 0079-0080: Anata no Seinou Kanzen Bunseki)
Categorizes all personality types according to the 48 types of gundam suits. Also includes love-compatibility analysis.


Warring-States-Period-General Fortune Telling (Sengoku Bushou Uranai)
See the real you! Are you a person who could conquer a nation? Warring-States-Period-General Fortune Telling is a system based on analyzing your character and tendencies, created using statistical factors. Since the Earth orbits the sun in a 360-degree orbit, depending on the time period, various heavenly bodies will be visible. This fortune-telling system is based on both Eastern and Western methods.

Moon Cat Fortune Telling So Accurate it’s Scary: Your Cat-protector (Spirit Guide) Teaches You about Love, Human Relationships, Work, Talent… (Osoroshii Hodo Ataru Tsuki-neko Uranai)
Tsuki-neko fortune telling is based on Western astrology. The first step is to find your protector cat (spirit guide). The cat will then teach you about how to meet your soulmate, find the hidden you, change jobs, and learn the best day for doing things.

26 replies
  1. toranosuke
    toranosuke says:

    What’s even crazier is that there are any serious scholars who take this stuff seriously enough to write about it. Keep an eye out for a book by Laura Miller (might not be coming out for another year or two).

  2. very interested
    very interested says:

    a very interesting find indeed! i am so glad that i do not seek the advice of my killing machine cat to guide me in love and life. i am sure if i did, she would have me fall in love with a bird, bring him home and she would kill him…. and maybe eat him too!

  3. tylerandalyssa
    tylerandalyssa says:

    Fortune telling books are to Japan as Self-Help books are to America. I think Hello Kitty might have more credibility than some of the American books. Nice blog! I’m in Japan too! It’s always fun to dive into something here because you usually come up with far more than you thought possible. Thanks! tylerandalyssa.wordpress.com

  4. linda
    linda says:

    Cats have long been used to tell the future dating back to ancient Egyptian times.
    Some common beliefs are: – if a cat sneezes, it means rain or if a cat sneezes three times all family members will catch a cold.

    Sailors would be horrified to find a cat on a ship as they believed it would bring nothing but bad luck. But, in the UK if a black cat runs across your path it means the opposite – good luck!

  5. L
    L says:

    I have to disagree with you on the gullible people thing. While I was searching Japanese fortunetelling methods and came across this page. I think the idea of these kind of divination techniques are really interesting and cool. Tarot cards and things like it have always worked for me, and I think it’s unfortunate that people group great fortunE
    e tellers with con artists. Try using them and opening your mind before you write these off?

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  1. […] inestimable pdq pointed me to this post on Quirky Japan Blog, which deals with some of the more peculiar Japanese books about fortune […]

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