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Turtles in Japan


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Guest Ginny Kulesa asked:

Can you tell me what does the turtle symbolize in Japan?
Without claiming any expertise in this field, there are two possible explanations related to the symbol of tortoise in Japan:

  1. In Japanese tales and legends turtles are usually said to live "ten thousand years", thus they represent longevity.
  2. Don't get me wrong, but "turtle head" (kitou) is a strictly medical term referring to male genitalia. It is of course also used in popular slang.[/list=1]

    We hope that helped!
Konnichiwa thomas-san!
Yes, turtle is a symbol of long life.
And a soft shelled turtle is a symbol of persistent man(or unpleasant fellow).:D
There is a proverb "Tsuki to suppon" in Japan.
"Tsuki" is the moon and is a synonym for beautiful.
"to" means "And".
"Suppon" is a soft shelled turtle. Of course "Suppon" means "dirty".
"Tsuki to suppon" is "Moon and soft shelled turtle" in literal translation but means "It is as different as day and night".:D

There're some good explainations in ニ但ニ遅ニ知窶ケ'窶凪?壺?邸ツ≫┐ツ渉、窶弭ナ?X . If you have a chance, rent this anime. Interesting one.
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