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Japanese Talisman Illustration & UI Design

Japanese Talisman
A mini exploration into a few symbols of Japan and their significance.

01. Maneki Neko

Otherwise known as the beckoning cat, this guy's famously known as a talisman to attract good fortune.

Interesting fact: There is relevance associated with which side paw is raised. The left paw is supposed to attract customers, while the right paw invites good fortune and wealth.

02. Daruma

The Daruma doll is another famous Japanese talisman modelled in form after a famous Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma.

The eyes of the Daruma is often used as a way to keep track of goals. Often sold blank, the owner of the doll will fill in one eye to mark their goal, and fill in the other once they have achieved it, resulting in "full sight" for the Daruma.

Daruma dolls are traditionally made and distributed on the New Year, then at the end of the year, once the goal is achieved, they are brought back to the temple for a burning ceremony.

03. Kitsune

The kitsune mask is a traditional Japanese fox mask that has contradictory symbolism in the Japanese Shinto religion and their folklore tales.

According to Shinto religion, they are messengers of the god Inari, who protects agriculture and fertility. They symbolise wealth and a rich harvest, and serve as guardians to ward off evil spirits.

Contrarily, according to Japanese folklore, foxes are considered troublesome tricksters and shapeshifters who enjoy tricking humans.

Thanks for watching!

Japanese Talisman Illustration & UI Design

Japanese Talisman Illustration & UI Design

An illustration and UI design mini series dedicated to the exploration of Japan and a few of their significant cultural symbols.