Friday, December 30, 2011

Sneezing in Anime

You're watching your favorite anime, and two (or more) characters are talking about "Character C". Suddenly it cuts to "Character C" sneezing. After watching a few anime, you might have picked on the gist of what it meant, but I'm going to explain it anyway.

I'm not exactly sure where I learned this from, as I was quite young when I learned what it meant. I'm at least certain that I first saw this in an episode of Rurouni Kenshin and was sufficiently confused. Then again, a lot of things confused me, considering I watched Rurouni Kenshin at 7 years old.
Anyway, according to an old Japanese wives tale, whenever you sneeze, it means someone is talking about you. Of course, this shows up in anime quite a bit. It's basically the equivalent of "burning" ears in the west. If you sneeze once, someone is thinking or talking about you and if you sneeze twice, someone is saying something bad about you.

 To be honest, this isn't strictly Japanese. Nobody is really sure of the origins of this myth, but somehow, it's become an interesting part of Japaneses culture .