Island of Dragonflies

Aug 11th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Lifestyle

“What a splendid land is this Yamato, our precious island of dragonflies”

Japan Dragonfly Tokyo

Dragonflies are a beloved symbol of summer in Japan and the words above are credited to  Emperor Jomei who ruled the Yamato (a province in ancient Japan) imperial court from 629 -641 and are included in the Manyoshu, the “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves,” Japan’s first anthology of poetry, that was written down in 759.

imageStylized dragonflies can be on clothing, jewelry, ceramics, traditional artwork that make great souvenirs from your travels and will always remind you or your time in Japan.  They are so popular that they are even depicted on manhole covers like the charming one pictured on the left in Tokyo’s Marunouchi district.

After spending time in Japan I too have become a fan of these lovely creatures and was lucky enough to capture the image above of one relaxing near the Big Buddha of Tennoji Temple and neighboring shopping area of Nippori (better know for it’s cats than dragonflies).

Dragonflies breed in water and can be found around lakes, rivers, ponds and rice paddies in Japan and children are often nearby chasing them about with long handled nets to add to their collection of summer insects that they proudly carry about in little plastic containers.

It’s a lovely, old fashioned, sight and just one of the great things you will find & experience when you take the time to observe the little things about Japan,

Source: NATURE IN SHORT / Dragonflies–ancient source of inspiration, imagination in Japan
Image Credit: Personal Collection & Flickr, Akatombo

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  1. I went to a fireworks display recently and they had actually made fireworks that exploded in the shape of a dragonfly. So beautiful.

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