Don't change Japanese temple symbols but educate tourists instead!

Don't change Japanese temple symbols but educate tourists instead!

23 January 2016
Petition to
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)
Petition Closed
This petition had 5,766 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Clemens Simon

The Japanese government is considering to replace the Japanese manji symbol which indicates the thousands of temples all over Japan, because in the eyes of some visitors to Japan it might be confused with the Hakenkreuz (Nazi's swastika) symbol.

The Japanese manji can be seen on the right and the Nazi's Hakenkreuz on the left.

Reasons for this petition to oppose the Japanese government's decision to replace the manji symbols:

1. Even if all the printed and digital maps, road maps and road signs are replaced with the newly proposed symbol, tourists visiting temples will still encounter the Japanese manji at the temples they visit, so it is pointless.

2. In order to replace all the manji, the Japanese government will be spending huge amounts of money for a "problem" that only affects a small number of people (those few uneducated visitors who don't know the difference), so it's a complete waste of taxpayer's money.

3. The Japanese manji symbol is a sacred and auspicious symbol in both Hinduism and Buddhism and has been around for thousands of years, whereas the Hakenkreuz exists less than 100 years. Giving priority to the symbol associated with Nazism and white supremacy, in deciding whether the Japanese manji should stay or not is preposterous as well as disrespectful.

4. Deleting the Japanese manji from public view will set an unreasonable and highly questionable precedent regarding places and countries where the manji is also used e.g. India where it is a lucky charm protecting people from evil and where it is painted on most auto-rikshas and trucks besides it obviously being visible at Hindu religious ceremonies and festivals. Japan should not put itself into an awkward position where it might seem to suggest that other nations follow this folly.

Options this petition suggests the Japanese government considers taking instead of replacing the manji symbols:

1. Printing out cost effective leaflets to be handed out to visitors coming to Japan through its (air)ports, wherein other cultural differences can be addressed as well. Since these materials will only be distributed to tourists/visitors, no resources, time and funds will be wasted on those who are already aware of the real meaning of the manji symbol.

2. Explaining this manji "controversy" on all tourist-related websites in order to further educate those who are ignorant and thus further spread "the news" e.g. the indisputable and justifiable facts related to the culture and history of Japan(ese).

Petition Closed

This petition had 5,766 supporters

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