Japan may remove Swastika's from Maps

Posted:


Foreign Misunderstandings

A recent survey in Japan shows that tourists associate the ancient Sanskrit Swastika symbols on maps that denote religious temples with Nazi Germany. Although the symbol, called Manji in Japanese, has been used for thousands of years in Japan, Japan’s tourism authorities are considering redesigning maps to use a new three-tiered pagoda to replace the Manji symbol. While this may alleviate some confusion, the potential change is not sitting well with everyone. The symbol has been used in Japanese culture significantly longer than the Nazi party, and even if the symbol on maps are changed, many temples and shrines still feature the Manji symbol. Some believe that it would be more appropriate for foreigners to learn about some of Japan’s culture before coming to the country, or see this as an opportunity for foreigners to learn about the symbol as something more than a Nazi icon. This could in turn lead to more acceptance of the symbol world-wide, signifying that there is more to it than Nazism. The Manji symbol is heavily used in many part of Asia today, and has ancient roots in Europe, and North America.

Part of Kyoto with 4 Manji symbols, each identifying a temple or shrine.

Foreign Misunderstandings

Other Changes

Japan may also change the Hotel, Police, and Post Office icons on maps as well.

Need Assistance? Call: USA/Canada 1-800-285-2726 Australia (02) 8006 4411 Contact Us Brochure