myths, true and false

Most places you go around Fairbanks, tourist places that is, have signs written in both English and Japanese. The Japanese come to the area in droves to see the Northern Lights, which has bred a belief around town that in Japan, it is considered good luck to conceive a child under the Aurora Borealis. Not true, a Japanese tour guide told me. He's not sure where the myth came from, but based on the advanced age of most of the Japanese tourists I saw, I was inclined to take him at his word. Conversely, and in the same vein, it is true that the indigenous Athabascan people in Interior Alaska believed bears were bad luck for conception. So, women of child bearing age would not look at or talk about bears, and would hide behind smoke houses if one approached a camp. It all goes to show how humans are obsessed with progeny, if not their own then other people's.