Underlying Meanings of Superstitions
Superstition is thought to be a belief that does not have clear scientific or reasonable evidence to support it. But some superstitions were taught from parents to children orally for a long time. Many superstitions have underlying meanings that contain useful knowledge, so they may be worth telling.
One famous Japanese superstition is related to lightning. “The god of lightning likes humans’ navel, so when you hear thunder, hide your navel in case he steals it.” No one, except some children, believes that literally. Then is it just a silly expression? No, it’s not. I think it is formed for a lazy child who sleeps with their stomach naked. When it thunders, it often starts to rain, and the temperature goes down, so such a child is likely to catch a cold. That is, this phrase teaches lazy children to sleep with their shirt on in case they catch a cold.
Another common superstition is “When removing belly button lint, you will have a stomachache.” This teaches about the stomach. Some studies show that the superstition is wrong, and the black grain is just dirt. It may be told so that children won’t scratch their navel violently. There is little muscle or fat around navel and important organs such as the bowels are just next to thin skin. If a child scratched it violently, a little injury would occur, and various kinds of minor germs would enter their body through the injury. As a result, they would suffer from a stomachache. The superstition may be told to prevent these problems.
Finally, the last superstition is a little dirty, but also worthwhile. “Don’t urinate to earthworm, or your reproductive organ will puff.” I used to urinate on the street; however, I never experienced that my manly symbol puffed. It is also superstition that contains underlying meanings. The purpose of this superstition may be to advise against urinating on the street, because it may cause infection of the various kinds of minor germs, or...
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