What if there were only 6 days in a week【8min Read】

ROKUYO is a concept first introduced by Chinese in 1400s. The 6 days each consist of things you should avoid!

If you ever purchased a calendar from Japan, you may have found a few strange features. 
Such as the 2 Kanji characters printed for every day, such as 「先勝(SENSHO)」 「友引(TOMOBIKI)」 「先負(SENBU)」 「仏滅(BUTSUMETSU)」 「大安(TAIAN)」 「赤口(SHAKKU/SHAKKO)」. Unlike the Gregorian calendar used today, the week consists only of 6 days and is used to determine the luck/omen of the day. For instance, you would want to avoid doing anything challenging before noon of the SENBU as it is said to carry bad luck with it. The ROKUYO weekdays have been subtle but a big part of the decision making in Japan, ever since the 14th Century (During Kamakura Era). The Six segments are said to symbolize the stars, used to divide the day and night into 3 parts each, making the 6 ROKUYO. During the time it was first implemented, merchants used the ROKUYO to determine the timing which will make the most amount of revenue.  However, during the MEIJI government, the system was revised as interpreted in this modern age. So without further ado, let’s get started on what to, and not to do during each of the ROKUYO. 


As derived from each of the Kanji characters, during the day of SENSHO, it is said that you’d have a better day if you get things done before noon. For this reason, people who are planning to have their wedding on this day, the ceremony usually starts bright and early. 


Now unlike the SENSHO, this day doesn’t necessarily mean you will be having good luck in the afternoon. However it does mean your day will get better compared to the bad fortune in the morning, or the bad luck you will be experiencing in the afternoon of SENSHO. This day is said to be best if you did not try anything too extraordinary, but to stay grounded.  


As read from the two Kanji characters above, the day is said to bring people together. Ceremonies such as Weddings are usually held on this day, and vice versa people avoid having funerals on this day. The morning and night of TOMOBIKI is said to bring you good luck, however during (昼/HIRU) noon you may be out of luck(11am~1pm).


仏(BUTSU) = Buddah
滅 (METSU) =  Extinction
ROKUYO’s concept is to introduce things you SHOULDN’T do during a certain period, and during BUTSUMETSU there are quite few of them! This day of ROKUYO symbolizes “END” to things or relationships. People avoid having their wedding on this day, however if you’d like to put an end to something, this day may be well suited for you. 


TAIAN is a day in all of ROKUYO, where there isn’t a thing you SHOULDN’T do. Meaning, you are safe to do most things. Unlike other ROKUYO, this day doesn’t have particular luck depending on the time of the day. However, keep in mind that it doesn’t mean the day is a lucky day. Just mildly lucky. 


Out of all the ROKUYOs, SHAKKOU is possibly the most unwanted day.  The term is said to initially address hours between 2pm and 4pm which was recognized as Demon’s Hour. Unlike BUTSUMETSU where it symbolizes the end of things, SHAKKOU symbolizes the end to ALL THINGS!  Although the day is said to bring bad luck, at exactly mid day, you are expected to have good luck!
So there you have it! A strange concept where the days of the ROKUYO week determines your luck for the day. People in Japan plan their wedding, funerals, other ceremonies such as their birthday parties based on this day. So next time you’re planning something, try looking at a Japanese calendar and decide for yourself! As superstitious as it may sound, plan your days wisely. At your own risk.

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