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symbolic plants, animals, etc


14 Dec 2003
i've been looking for a website that lists different animals, plants, etc. that are symbolic in japanese culture, but i haven't had much luck finding one. does anybody know of one? thanks!
I don't know a website, but here's a few things just offhand. Also, there's probably meanings that I've left out, so perhaps someone can add them...

crane: long life, good luck, fidelity (a crane lives 1,000 years )
turtle: long life (lives 10,000 years)
fox: trickster
koi (carp): strength (and...?) symbol especially for boy's day

Plants are especially symbolic of the time of year:
pine+bamboo+plum blossom: New Year's
narcissus: late winter
plum blossom: winter
Spring: (most important is cherry blossom!), azalea
Late spring: purple iris
Summer: cosmos(late summer)
Late summer: pampas grass
Fall: chrysanthemum
chrysanthemum (someone help me on number of petals...13?): the emperor, imperial symbol
cherry blossom: spring, impermanent beauty, samurai/warriors/soldiers

I'll search around a bit and see what I can find for you...
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