Swastikas as Design Elements in Japan/Asia
Throughout the years I have noticed a few submissions here and there that feature swastikas (or what appear to be swastikas) as design elements in various items. Some, like the first photo below, are scary, but many of them do not always represent the Nazi party from WW2.
This t-shirt found in a sushi shop in Japan is a quite blatant logo representation from the 3rd Reich. I suspect that the young person wearing this has no idea of the meaning behind his shirt:
Conversely, this purse was carried by a woman on a scooter in Thailand, but to the Thai people the symbol has another meaning altogether (explanation below photo):
The following is a quote from the person who submitted the photo:
Taken on Thanon Naebkehad, Amphur Hua Hin, Thailand on 4 January 2005 at 11:36 AM. It should be noted that the swastika, which was co-opted by the Shicklegruber (Hitler) for his nationalistic madness, is actually an ancient symbol of peace which originiated in India. You will see these on buildings as you go into Bangkok from Don Muang Airport, as well as on girls’ neck chains and other jewelry. The term “swastika”, pronounced “SA WAS DEE KA” in Thai, is the term of greeting spoken by females. Males would say “SA WAS DEE KRUP”. (Photo by Khun Bufo Toad)
This next symbol is a source of great confusion – visitors to Japan are often horrified when they see it plastered on maps and signs:
This is actually not a swastika, but the symbol for Buddhist temples most often used in maps (the symbol is the reverse of a swastika – it points the opposite direction). You can see the symbol on Wikipedia’s entry for Japanese map symbols. It is easy to see why anyone could be confused (including myself) when first visiting Japan.