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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Empire of the Circles

Empire of the Circles by timtak
Empire of the Circles, a photo by timtak on Flickr.
In response to a student question about why it is that a tick (or check ✓) mark often means bad in Japan, where as the the Japanese symbol for right or correct is the circle I listed some of the many ways in which Japanese use circles to represent, the good, the true, self and I believe mind, which is the origin of the utilisation of this sign.

The mirror of the Sun-Goddess, which she carries, represents her, is her or her mind, is eaten to ingest her, contains (in the form or Enma's mirror) ones whole life, represents Japan as its flag, its families in their crests, themselves in their seals, is used in numerous postive expressions for completeness and the absense of imperfection, is found emphasised in the faces of infants characters, and is the meaning of the word "yen."

To express good Americans use a circlular sign in the form of an okay sign. The Japanese use this sign as well as that made by making a circle using their arms surrounding their head. They also sit in circles, give people circular cards for their signature and all the other things in the image above which I will explain with reference to Nishida's place, or mental mirror (Heisig) which Westerners may understand as the visual field (bottom right) but in fact it remains, as ones heart, even when ones eyes are closed.

Third Row Image Credits
Mori Ranmaru kamon by aikao
Japanese flag by wisegie, on Flickr
Hanko ~ Japanese Signature by Jason Michael, on Flickr

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.