Red string of fate

Red string of fate
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 紅線
Simplified Chinese 红线
Japanese name
Kanji 赤い糸

The Red String of Fate (simplified Chinese: 姻缘红线; traditional Chinese: 姻緣紅線; pinyin: Yīnyuán hóngxiàn), also referred to as the Red String of Marriage, and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. Often, in Japanese culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. According to Chinese legend, the deity in charge of "the red thread" is believed to be Yuè Xià Lǎorén (月下老人), often abbreviated to Yuè Lǎo (月老), the old lunar matchmaker god, who is in charge of marriages.

The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of place, time, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmate or a destined flame.


One story featuring the red string of fate involves a young boy. Walking home one night, a young boy sees an old man (Yue Xia Lao) standing beneath the moonlight. The man explains to the boy that he is attached to his destined wife by a red thread. Yue Xia Lao shows the boy the young girl who is destined to be his wife. Being young and having no interest in having a wife, the young boy picks up a rock and throws it at the girl, running away. Many years later, when the boy has grown into a young man, his parents arrange a wedding for him. On the night of his wedding, his wife waits for him in their bedroom, with the traditional veil covering her face. Raising it, the man is delighted to find that his wife is one of the great beauties of his village. However, she wears an adornment on her eyebrow. He asks her why she wears it and she responds that when she was a young girl, a boy threw a rock at her that struck her, leaving a scar on her eyebrow. She self-consciously wears the adornment to cover it up. The woman is, in fact, the same young girl connected to the man by the red thread shown to him by Yue Xia Lao back in his childhood, showing that they were connected by the red string of fate.

In East Asian popular culture

In Japanese manga

Heavy references or inferences to the "red string" throughout several other Japanese manga series, including Kekkaishi, Loveless, Nana, Kuroshitsuji, The Vision of Escaflowne, Detective Conan, InuYasha, Bleach, Tenchi Muyo, Toradora, Hell Girl, Fruits Basket, xxxHolic, Yu Yu Hakusho, Otomen, Aki Sora, Ranma 1/2, Cross Game, Naruto, and Sailor Moon.

In Japanese anime

In film

In music

In the song "Makka Na Ito" by the Japanese band Plastic Tree there are references to the red string of fate in the chorus. The title translates to "crimson thread".

Also quoting the "Vocaloid2" song "Just be friends" aka "JBF" by Luka Megurine. In the PV, Luka and Boy ("Masuta/Master" perhaps) are connected by the red string of fate, resembling their soul-ship, even though they broke up.

The song "Nankai Renai", translated as "Difficult Love" sung by Gumi mentions a "One-way red thread of fate", fitting as the song speaks about her bearing a platonic attraction.

"One Red Thread" by American band Blind Pilot refers to the "red thread" and includes lines such as "from the minute that the line got drawn," and "my only one, my only one," signifying the destiny of two people's connection.

In a PV for the song "Choose Me" by Hyadain, the story depicts a love triangle; both girls involved wear the red string of fate. The string of the girls is shown to be wrapped around the male counterparts' neck, a metaphor for his struggle to pick only one of the two.

"Akai Ito" by Koshi Inaba literally translating to "Red string"

In the song "Dive Bar" by American band The Tower and The Fool, "And I told about time where I tried to tie a red thread around her ankles in your bed at night," talking about a girl that is not destined for him, even if he tries to force it.

In the song "Tip of my Tongue" by the Civil Wars, "You're a red string tied to my finger. A little love letter I carry with me."

In the MV for the song "Depend on Me" by Korean boy band VIXX, the red string appears throughout the video.

In the song "Leave" sung by Gumi "We're destined never to meet again, the two of us, by a red string" and the during the chorus, in the PV Gumi is shown with a red string tied around her little finger which she holds over her mouth.

In the song "RED" by the Japanese visual kei band the GazettE mentioned about the red string of fate. the story behind can be imagined through the lyrics of the song.

The song, "ambiguous" by Japanese music duo GARNiDELiA, includes the lyrics "unmei no ito" which literally translates to "thread of fate".

In Japanese video games

In the 2004 game Shadow Hearts: Covenant, one of the weapons obtained by the character Gepetto is called "Crimson Thread". It is described as "A thread that connects the fates of two people" and "Legend says this thread links the fate of a star-crossed couple. Said to make the owner's deepest wish a reality".

In the Pokémon series, since Diamond and Pearl, the item Destiny Knot, a red ball of string, may be held by a Pokémon. If that Pokémon is inflicted with the Attract condition, its opponent also becomes attracted.

In the game Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword the main villain, Demon Lord Ghirahim, claims that he and the main character, Link, are connected by a red thread of fate and destiny that caused them to meet.

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.