During a person’s life, many changes may take place in their body and/or environment over the years. As a result, it is said there is a risk of meeting with misfortune. Years in which there is an increased chance of misfortune or challenging situations are called Yakudoshi, meaning “Critical Years” or "Ages of Misfortune."
The misfortune years for men are at age 25, 42, and 61, and for women are at age 19, 33, 37, and 61. All of these ages are Kazoedoshi (Eastern Age*). It is apparent from historical texts that Yakudoshi already existed as a custom during the Heian Period in Japan (794 - 1185 CE).
*Add 1 year to your age.
However, Yakudoshi are not the only years that one needs to take into account. In addition to the designated misfortune year or “Hon-yaku,” the year before a misfortune year, “Mae-yaku,” and the year after, “Ato-yaku,” also require careful attention in order to avoid misfortune. For this reason, it is necessary to think of Yakudoshi as a three-year period. During this three-year period, people go to Shinto shrines in order to receive blessings from priests to ward off evil and to cleanse themselves of evil influence. Especially Taiyaku 大厄which is middle age Yakudoshi (age 33 and a year before, a year after) are believed very critical. People also pray to purify their bad luck and for good luck charms to bring about better fortune.
We offer a very special Yakudoshi ritual blessing which we have passed down for generations in our family and at Shusse Inari Shrine.
|前厄 / Mae-yaku||18||24|
|本厄 / Hon-yaku||19||25|
|後厄 / Ato-yaku||20||26|
|前厄 / Mae-yaku||32||41|
|本厄 / Hon-yaku [大厄Taiyaku]||33||42|
|後厄 / Ato-yaku||34||43|
|前厄 / Mae-yaku||36|
|本厄 / Hon-yaku||37|
|後厄 / Ato-yaku||38|
|本厄 / Hon-yaku||61 (還暦Kanreki)||61(還暦Kanreki)|
The ceremony has a minimum donation of $100 plus shipping when applicable and includes one Omamori.