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Cultura e Tradizione  Esplora il giappone  Cultura Pop  Cucina giapponese


Yubikiri Genman The Promise of the Little Mouth 指切りげんまん

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There is a small "cantilene" in Japan associated with the gesture that is used when two people exchange a promise crossing the little fingers, Yubikiri Genman 指 切 り げ ん ま ん.
To remind the promise you sang a small ancient rhyming (with several variables) that reminds you of the fact that something has to be kept upside down:

指切りげんまん yubikiri genman

うそついたら uso tsuitara (if you say a lie)

針千本飲ます hari senbon nomasu (I'll let you swallow a thousand needles!)

指切った yubi kitta

The last sentence (yubi kitta) coincides with the separation of the pink finger giving way to the pact; in fact Kitta (切 っ た) is the past form of the verb cut kiru (切 る) which in this exception assumes the meaning of "separating".
Many times you will have to see this gesture in many souls and in some drama. Although it is used especially among children, it can happen to be seen even among very intimate teenagers or adults.

Historical reconstructions of this ancient tradition are a bit discordant among them, but it seems that it can be traced back to the Edo period (1603 - 1868) when it was custom for prostitutes to lend the tip of the little finger to show their fidelity.

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One of those things that has never been a case, but that has always been in the eyes of all, a particular nursery that over the centuries has been modified for every need, even in the cinema where it is often used in live action or horror movies.



Folklore, Yubikiri Genman, Mauro Piacentini

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