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Lucky Charm in China

by Tomoko Oyama
(Saitama, Japan)

China and Japan both have something to do with using kanji, so we can often guess the meaning of sentences in both languages. For example, "茶(tea)" has the same pronunciation "cha" in China and Japan.

Let me introduce my experience. When I went to a Chinese restaurant near UEC, I found interesting tapestry that wrote "福" upside-down. "福" means "happiness," so I thought it is related to a prayer for happiness, but I did not know why it was hung upside-down.

After I went back home, I asked my friends from China and Taiwan. It is a kind of lucky charm called "倒福(dao fu)" in Chinese. They said that "倒(dao)" means "upside-down" and this is the same pronunciation of "来(dao)," which means "come" in Chinese. This has the prayer for the coming of the god of happiness and many happy things for people.

I thought it is similar to the play on words which can see in Japanese tanka.

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