Japanese people consider 4 and 9, the unlucky numbers that they want to avoid.
‘4’ is pronounced “shi” in Japanese and the Japanese word for ‘death’ is pronounced “shi” as well.
SHI 死 し
9’ is pronounced “ku” and the Japanese word for ‘hardship’ is also pronounced “ku”.
KU 苦 く
As for 4, that is the same in China. Chinese people pronounce ‘4’ and ‘death’ in the same way.
Not as mush for 9, but people try to avoid to have anything with the letter 4 more. If you are staying at a hotel in Japan, you may see each floor has no room No.4.
This is not the case for all the Japanese people. Some think No. 4 symbolise stability and thus, a good number to have. And some think 9 is God’s number.
When your number is up… it is No. 4