Unusual, mysterious and peculiar countryJapan does not cease to amaze and interest its western neighbors. Her culture slowly penetrates into the thoughts and habits of the subjects of other states, let them for the time being limited to cooking, cars and cartoons. When trying to comprehend the Japanese culture, the main thing is not to try to directly interpret any symbol: the Japanese sense is sometimes directly opposed to what is put into the image by Europeans. It is better to listen and read what the Japanese themselves think about this.
Symbolism in Japan
As a state completely isolated from theother continents and largely dependent on the vagaries of the ocean and its gifts, the Land of the Rising Sun is very respectful of the marine life. Almost every ocean inhabitant for the inhabitants of the archipelago is a symbol. The Japanese octopus, for example, embodies love. And not fraternal or maternal, but the most that neither is carnal. After serving a Japanese dish with octopuses, you openly invite him to bed. And he has no right to refuse!
Its special sacred meaning is almost everyJapanese fish. The symbol, known more widely than others and beloved by the Japanese, is more than carp. On the islands, it has the name "koi" and is considered the embodiment of strength and courage. This is explained by the insistence of the carp going to spawn. Koi is able to jump out of the water higher than a meter and a half, swim against a strong current and always overcome it. In this regard, Japanese carp acts as the patron of men. Koinobori - flags with the appearance of fish - are hung out on Boy's Day at home, sometimes - according to the number of all men residing in it. Black color is assigned to the father, red - to the eldest son (sometimes to the mother), blue - to each of the children.
Yellow carp is perceived as a completely differentsymbol: Japanese koi in this case becomes the embodiment of love. However, not as aggressive and down-to-earth as an octopus. Rather, it symbolizes the strength of marriage ties. It is not for nothing that newlyweds in Japan consider it obligatory to release yellow koi into the pond: it seems to become the guarantor of family happiness.
Another "good" fish is a perch,in Japanese, "Tai". In the pantheon of this country, as many as seven gods of fortune. One of them, Ebisu, is portrayed with this fish in his hands. It is believed that the Tai brings good luck in the works of righteous and new, but only good endeavors.
Japanese fish - a symbol of evil and death
The country of the rising sun is differentrigidity and even cruelty. Punishing and threatening images of this people, perhaps, more than those who favor and protect. And the Japanese symbol of death personifies, of course, a shark. Moreover, in addition to the end of life, it can also denote undisguised evil, and bad intentions, and danger - fierce and almost inevitable.
Explanation of attributed qualities is not difficult to find.Initially, Japan is a country of fishermen and seafarers. And in the ocean you can not find a more formidable predator than a shark. The inherent cunning with perseverance makes the fish even more terrible enemy.
Duality of the image
For all the danger with which the shark is perceivedresidents of Japan, it is also a sacred animal. If the fishermen are to hunt for a shark, it is preceded by special rituals, since the predator can simultaneously be a messenger of the deity. In this case, it will be called Same. And with respect to her attitude, the divine shark helps seamen: her power is enough to provide the ship with good weather, and the team - the richest catch. If you make yourself a tattoo in the form of an inhabitant of sea waters, then, according to legends, it will become a wonderful amulet and will protect from the most various troubles in life.
Sacred representations of Japanese suggestthe existence of highly specialized tailed demons, each of which is responsible for a certain element. By the way, the Japanese have five: to the familiar Europeans earth, water, fire and air (in the Japanese tradition - the wind) lightning is added. The demon-bija of the water is portrayed as a horned shark. Although in some pictures there is a cross between a toad and a tortoise, which has three canines and a tail. Storms and tsunamis are the consequences of the rise of the demon shark from the depths. Bloodthirst, ruthlessness and aggression are the features of the symbol of death and evil.
The servants of this demon can receive from him certain "gingerbread", but it is very expensive to pay for them. This is the difference between the demon shark and the divine messenger Same.
Other sinister animals
Some researchers often argue whichJapanese fish is a symbol of death. Despite the fact that the most terrifying ocean animal is undoubtedly the shark, among the horror stories of Japan there are other images of evil. The most famous deep-sea catfish, called Japanese fishermen Namazu. However, this is a slightly different symbol: the Japanese people rather attribute to it not the personified forces of nature, the blind fury of the elements. Rather, it can be said that the Namazu personifies (and according to individual beliefs - foreshadows) terrible cataclysms, threatening with calamity and death.
The eel does not have a very good reputation. Despite the fact that he is a favorite ingredient in many national dishes, this underwater inhabitant often acts as a symbol of cunning and sudden death. Probably, and eat it to prevent the latter and destroy the insidious plans.
On the southern islands of the Japanese archipelago frighteningSometimes the harmless manta is somehow the cause of death. Probably, the reason for this - a kind of appearance, for which a rabid animal received from European seafarers the nickname "sea devil" and overgrown with a huge number of terrible stories.