The Red String of Fate

Unable to focus, I glance behind to find the girl doing the same. Then she holds up her wrist with a question on her face.
  The Red String of Fate is the belief that some dismiss as an old wives' tale--nothing more than a girl's fanciful notion. Those who put stock in it believe that if two people have a red thread that connects from their pinky to another person's pinky, they are destined to meet and become lovers, possibly even get married. The thread may stretch, but it never breaks.  

Beyond the Common Myth

What isn't often known is that those that dismiss the notion, will never see it. But those who believe, might. For it is attached by the kami or one of the person's ancestors who have passed away. Those ancestors visit the mortal realm on occasions such as obon or times when the descendant needs help.   Some women can see such strings connecting people. It's a rare magical gift passed down from their mothers. Usually the first string notices is the one connected to themselves and their love to be. Then the magic user is attuned to see them and will notice others.

Variations & Mutation

Koreans think of it tied around the couple's pinkies, like the modern Japanese version. The old Japanese version says that the string connects from a woman's pinky finger (which connects to the heart by the ulnar artery) to a man's thumb. The Chinese believe that the string connects around the intendeds' ankles.

In Art

You'll see this theme in anime and manga. A recent example is in the anime Your Name.
Originated in China. Common in East Asia.

Cover image: Red String of Fate by jcomp


Author's Notes

I wanted to include this darling myth from Japanese culture. So I found a way to make it unique by adding the magical aspect and the intervention of the kami and ancestors.

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17 Jul, 2020 08:46

Thank you for introducing me to this sweet tale. Good job tying it into your lore!

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Ethnis | Ko-Fi | Twitter

21 Jul, 2020 00:31

Thank you!

Author of the Liminal Chronicles urban fantasy series | vssCollab very short story prompts | Author Website
17 Jul, 2020 11:13

This is SO nice! Thank you so much for writing this! It's a great myth.

21 Jul, 2020 00:31

Thanks much for the kind comment!

Author of the Liminal Chronicles urban fantasy series | vssCollab very short story prompts | Author Website
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