Yakudoshi is a religious superstition held in Japan.
厄年/Yakudoshi is made up of the characters for 厄/”unlucky” and 年/”year” so surprisingly it means “unlucky year”.
It started in the Heian period and there are many rival theories for which are unlucky ages in your life.
Not such an awesome thing… but it’s pretty interesting.
In this Shinto belief, unlucky years are different for men and women.
For men 25, 42, 61 are unlucky ages.
The ages of 19, 33, 37 are unlucky for women.
No one is entirely sure where this theory came from or how it was justified so it remains a superstition.
During your unlucky year, the year preceding it and the year following it you can go to a shrine or temple and recieve a blessing and a cleansing ritual (for a price).
Also people generally avoid dangerous activities and big life decisions around those years.
For an article about Yakudoshi – check out the Japan times.