初夢 Hatsuyume

Did you dream of them last night? Well, have you? I’m talking about Mount Fuji, a hawk and an eggplant! It is considered to be particularly good luck to dream of these things!

HatsuyumeHatsuyume = first dream in the new year. Traditionally, the contents of the dream would foretell the luck of the dreamer in the ensuing year. Because the night of December 31 was often passed without sleeping, thus hatsuyume was often the dream seen the night of January 1. This is why January 2 is known as Hatsuyume in the traditional Japanese calendar.

Since early Edo period, it’s considered good luck to dream of Mount Fuji, a hawk and an eggplant. Although this superstition is well known in Japan, often memorized in the form Ichi-Fuji, Ni-Taka, San-Nasubi (一富士、二鷹、三茄子 – 1. Fuji, 2. Hawk, 3. Eggplant), the continuation of the list is not as well known. The continuation is as follows: Yon-Sen, Go-Tabako, Roku-Zatō (四扇、五煙草、六座頭 – 4. Fan, 5. Tobacco, 6. Blind acupressurer)

HatsuyumeThere are various theories regarding the origins as to why this particular combination was considered to be auspicious. One theory suggests that this combination is lucky because Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain, the hawk is a clever and strong bird, and the word for eggplant (nasu or nasubi 茄子) suggests achieving something great (nasu 成す). Another theory suggests that this combination arose because Mount Fuji, falconry, and early eggplants were favorites of the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

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