I was watching xxxHOLiC and several things connected regarding the pinky. So there’s the pinky promise where 2 kids would make a promise to each other by entwining their pinkies. Then there’s the red string of fate, familiar in Asian cultures where 2 lovers are connected by the red string of fate. Although the Wikipedia states it’s a Japanese belief, many Chinese folktales also have this tidbit in it.
Apparently, these seemingly unrelated things are totally connected. Apparently the pinky is connected to your heart, therefore love and promises are connected to your pinky.
Doumeki: Since your heart is connected to your little finger, the red string of fate is also tied to it. By the way, during the Edo Period, there was even a custom where the ladies of the time would cut off their right little fingers, and give them to the person they liked. It was proof that they wouldn’t betray the one they loved. The Pinky Promise song also comes from that custom.
Yuuko: It might exist. But, you can’t guarantee that the string is tied to only one person. (contrary from what I’ve always believed, I had always thought there was only 1 red thread and the person connected to it would be your soul mate)
So the pinky was a promise for eternal love between 2 people. However, as it slowly changed, it became a gestured used by kids to refer to any promise they make.
From Wikipedia entry on the little finger: A pinky promise (also known as a pinky swear) is made when a person wraps one of their pinky fingers around the other person’s pinky and makes a promise. Traditionally, it’s considered binding and the idea was originally that the person who breaks the promise must cut off their pinky finger. In a similar vein, among members of the Japanese yakuza (gangsters), the penalty for various offenses is removal of parts of the little finger (known as yubitsume).
Click image to start the animation or view it in the gallery.
Oddball: The pain game (from MS newsgroup) – The No. 261 reason Japanese television is better than ours: when you mess up a tongue-twister on a Japanese game show the punishment is swift and brutal. Yet another crazy video from Hey Hey Hey.
Doctors offer to maim beggars in TV sting – Secretly filmed footage taken by the CNN-IBN news channel and broadcast Saturday showed one of the doctors asking for 10,000 rupees (about $215) to amputate a lower leg, leaving a stump that may draw sympathy — and a few rupees — from passersby.
Magic Revolution (from Artemyst) – I showed you a video with the magic hamburger awhile back. Apparently this guy has another similar magic trick on video. This time instead of a hamburger, he produces ice coffee! Pretty neat!