Thursday, December 16, 2004


Some very foolish gardeners in Australia were told to create geometric images with flowers for a Christmas display. So they put the flower pots in a swastika design. Stupid gardeners. Their use of red and white plants (Christmas colors) was especially bad. The local Jewish population was especially unamused.

To be fair this is Australia and the gardeners may have been immigrants from somewhere in Asia. While westerners only think of the swastika as a symbol of the Nazis and anti-semitism, Hindus and Buddhists have used it as a symbol of good luck, life, and the sun for several millenia. The Japanese call the symbol "manji" and use it to mark the location of Buddhist temples on maps. The swastika and sauvastika (which spins the other way) were also used by Christians because it is an obvious variation on the Cross. The Hebrews used it too pre WWII. For more on the swastika look here and here.

I know a little bit about this because the main character in the Japanese manga Blade of the Immortal, Manji, uses the swastika as his name and personal symbol. The story is set in medieval Japan and the writers put a preface about the sauvastikas use on the inside cover of all the American manga.

Let me reiterate, the gardners were idiots. Despite the fact that it is considered lucky in the east, I'm not going to be putting it on anything ever.

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