A Taboo in Fukuoka, Japan / 福岡ではやってはいけない“タブー”

in life •  11 months ago

A Taboo in Fukuoka, Japan

There is something that is regarded as taboo in Fukuoka, Japan. Ceremonial hand-clapping is performed to conclude festivities across the country, but the local “Hakata Teippon” clapping has a unique pause at the end that leads to mistakes made by people who are used to the more common final clap. The traditional Iwaimedeta song is also sung at a particular moment. Mistakes “won’t affect work or business,” says one local business owner, but another admits “It can spoil the moment.” Thus, it appears to be prudent to learn these customs once one moves to Fukuoka for work or study.


The ceremonial hand-clapping that is performed to conclude festivities in Hakata, Japan, is always Hakata Teippon.

Nighttime in the entertainment district of Fukuoka City. A welcome party was being held for a newly hired employee of a certain company.

“I’m so glad we got someone so entertaining! I’m looking forward to seeing your work,” the middle-aged supervisor grasped the hands of the new recruit and then clapped him on his back with expectation.

Later, however, this kind supervisor’s countenance was to change completely.

The party was reaching the end and the group got ready to do Hakata Teippon together. At the supervisor’s call, everyone began to clap.

“Yooo!” (Ready!) clap, clap
“Mohitotsu!” (One more!”) clap, clap
“Ioute Sando!” (Three claps to celebrate!) clap, clap clap

It was at that moment that an extra, lone clap shattered the silence. It was the new hire. Being from a different region and most likely used to doing the final clap, he had clapped four times, clap-clap-clap-clap.

In an effort to make amends, the young man blurted out his next mistake.

“Um, can we please do that again?”

The supervisor turned a stern look at him.

“You can’t ever redo Hakata Teippon.”

This is because repeating it is believed to bring bad fortune.

■ A Typical Scene in Fukuoka

This is a scene from a video titled “You Can’t Redo Hakata Teippon,” which was a city promotional project organized by the Fukuoka Film Commission and won the best prize in 2013.

“You Can’t Redo Hakata Teippon” (Directed by Tsubasa Furuno )

The screenwriter of this video is a man who works at a newspaper company. Over the years, he has witnessed countless people making mistakes when doing Hakata Teippon. He says, “I created it as a typical scene in Fukuoka.”

The Hakata Teippon is concluded with three claps. Many outsiders who move to Fukuoka get caught in the “trap” when they are not aware of the unique pause at the very end.























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Great stuff! Happy to see you still writing on Steemit!