It has been a part of English folklore since long ago. In Japanese folklore, these strange lights at night­—actually caused by burning swamp gases—signal the presence of foxes. Many of them have jumped straight from the pages of myth and into popular culture. So, the next time you have to say "ganbatte" (good luck) to a mate, take a moment to consider these good luck symbols presented by Mysticurious, along with their meanings. Japanese dragons (日本の竜, Nihon no ryū) are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. The Harvest Moon games introduced me to some of their more usual creatures, such as wild boars and squirrels. From mythical foxes and shape-shifting raccoon dogs to vengeful spirits and human-eating spiders, Japanese folklore is full of fascinating creatures born from people’s observations of the inexplicable. Japanese mythology makes use of Shinto, Buddhist, and folklore beliefs for its creation story and succeeding legends. Being a nocturnal bird, an owl is associated with darkness which in turn is associated with death. Japanese artists created many iconic, cute fictional characters based on animals native to Japan. In Hindu mythology, Garuda is a bird belonging to Lord Visnu, large enough for him to ride and so brilliantly colored that he’s often mistaken for the god of fire. Japanese folklore has many symbols signifying good fortune, besides the popular beckoning cat. So while Australia is a country where every native species will probably kill you, Japan seems like a country where every native species looks like it wants a hug. And since the bird was used on Greek coins, it also became associated with wealth. He’s also found in Japanese mythology, where he’s known as Karura. Upon the creation of the universe, it is believed that several deities came into existence, as well, and were collectively referred to as kotoamatsukami. Even though he wasn’t created as a god, he’s often worshiped as such. The Barn Owl is one of the two owl families. Poets like Robert Blair and Wordsworth considered it a bird of doom. 11 Auspicious Japanese Symbols That Represent Good Luck. In ancient Egyptian, Hindu, and Celtic cultures the owl symbolic meaning revolved around guardianship of the underworld and as … An Overview of Japanese Mythology and Japanese Dragons. So I imagine owl statues guard and protect the gardens. In the "Handbook Of Japanese Mythology" by Michael Ashkenazi I read about Chikap Kamui, an owl deity considered to be the watcher or master of some area. I once read that the size/shape and colour of the owl have influence, hence a wide variety of owl souvenirs in Japan. The owl was attributed to the goddess of wisdom, Athena, in Greek mythology. Used on Greek coins, it also became associated with wealth by swamp. 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