Previously: Closet To Another World.
There are seemingly variations of what’s often referred to as Tsuji-ura, the Fortune Game, or Crossroads Divination all over the world — or at least, that’s what the lore of the game would have us believe. Tsuji-ura is obviously the Japanese version; in Europe, it’s supposedly known as Crossroads Divination; and more broadly, it’s often just called the Fortune Game. It’s all over the internet, and usually in the same form, so sometimes I wonder if it’s really just a creepypasta — but no matter what you call it or where you think it came from, the point of playing it is always the same: To get a glimpse of your future.
Regardless of whether the Fortune Game is fakelore or folklore, though, crossroads do hold a certain reputation in the folklore of many cultures: For some, crossroads are where werewolves transform; for others, they’re places where the Fae can make their way into the world of humans; some believe that love potions or memory spells are more potent if performed at a crossroads; and for many, they’re places where one might meet with a demon or the Devil — and possibly strike a deal with whomever it is that you encounter. Crossroads are liminal spaces, places that are neither here nor there — and that gives them power.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
But although humans often long to harness that power, we’re not always successful. So, as always… play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- One comb.
- Something with which to cover your face.
- A crossroads.
- Begin at night.
- Go to your crossroads. Bring your comb and your face covering with you.
- Make the comb speak: Strum its teeth with your fingers three times.
- Repeat the following words three times: “Tsuji-ura, tsuji-ura, grant me a true response.”
- Be patient.
- If no one else approaches the crossroads: The ritual has failed. Do not proceed. You may try again another time.
- If someone you know approaches the crossroads: The ritual has failed. Do not proceed. You may try again another time.
- If a stranger approaches the crossroads: The ritual has succeeded. You may proceed.
- As soon as you see the stranger approach, cover your face with your face covering. Do NOT uncover your face until it is safe to do so.
- When the stranger is close enough to speak to, you may request that they tell you your fortune. Be polite: Ask; do not demand. Do NOT uncover your face.
- If the stranger does not answer: Do not proceed. Let them go. When they have gone, you may remove your face covering. Wait for another stranger to approach. Try again.
- If the stranger refuses: Do not proceed. Let them go. When they have gone, you may remove your face covering. Wait for another stranger to approach. Try again.
- If the stranger agrees to answer: You may proceed. Do NOT uncover your face.
- Listen to what the stranger says.
- Listen closely.
- Listen carefully.
- When the stranger has finished speaking, thank them for their time and let them go. Do NOT uncover your face… yet.
- When the stranger has gone, you may remove your face covering.
The Rest Of Your Life:
- Go home.
- Live your life.
- Are you comfortable, knowing what you now know?
- I hope so.
- I really, really hope so.
The game be played in any environment. Urban, suburban, or rural environments are all acceptable, as long as there is a crossroads present in your chosen location.
The game may be played with more than one player. Any additional players beyond the principal are bystanders.
Any item that may be used to hide your face is acceptable as a face covering. Recommended face coverings include, but are not limited to:
- Veils, scarves, or cloths draped over the head;
- Books or magazines held in front of the face;
- Knit hats pulled down over the head and face;
- Large-brimmed hats held in front of the face;
Bystanders do not need combs; however, bystanders should each have their own face covering.
Should a stranger approach in The Summoning: Step 8, bystanders should use their face coverings to cover their faces in the same manner as the principal. Bystanders should NOT look at the stranger. Bystanders should NOT remove their face coverings until it is safe to do so.
Bystanders should remain as quiet as possible throughout the game.
Bystanders should not interfere with the game in any way.
Concerning The Summoning Words:
There is some debate over whether the summoning words must be spoken entirely in one language, or whether it is acceptable to mix words from multiple languages. You may mix languages; if you choose to do this, your summoning words will remain as previously written (“Tsuji-ura, tsuji-ura, grant me a true response”). If you do not wish to mix languages, you may either:
- Translate “grant me a true response” and speak the summoning words entirely in Japanese;
- Or, replace “tsuji-ura” with “inside the same” and speak the summoning words entirely in English.
Success is not guaranteed, but the choice is yours.
Concerning What The Stranger Tells You:
The stranger can only tell you what they know.
They cannot tell you what to do with that information.
That… is entirely up to you.
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[Photo via Seba Bertoni/Unsplash]