Why Owls Bring Good Luck


I had an amazing first visit to Japan. So I guess this guy did bring me good luck….

I just returned from Japan where I noticed that in modern Japanese culture many people carry an owl charm. Apparently they do this because the owl symbolizes luck and protects them from suffering. 

Through history in ancient Greece, Asia and America, owls have been a symbol of wisdom and magic. They are also unquestionably gorgeous, and mysterious in my opinion. But why are they lucky in Japanese culture?  Here’s the answer:

The Japanese word for owl is fukurou. Very nearly the same word, fuku, means “luck”. Further, the Japanese word fukurou also means “protection from hardship or suffering”. So it’s a play on words. Owl, luck, it’s one in the same.

Passing through train stations and shopping malls I saw owl souvenirs and owl decorations of all colors, shapes and sizes. Many of these Japanese-made owl items are available worldwide from the online Rakuten Global Market (it’s like Amazon for Japan). The most unique ones I came across though were handmade from a flea market in Kyoto. Aren’t they cute?

Lucky Stuffed Owl Art Silk Handmade Kyoto Japan

“I gathered you all here today…”


Handmade stuffed owls at the Chion-Ji flea market in Kyoto. Pin cushions?

Lucky Owl Tree Art Handmade Kyoto Japan Flea Market

These will at least make you laugh even if they don’t bring you luck.

Lucky Owl Art Handmade Woord Carving Kyoto Japan Flea Market

Painted owl woodcarvings. Sometimes simple is better.

Nishijin Textile Center Kyoto Silk Ties Lucky Owl

Pure silk owl ties made by Nishijin traditional weaving.

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Meet Suzette
suzetteHoly crap, you found me. That’s fantastic. I’m Suzette and I’m so glad you’re here! I’ve built a successful career as a travel photographer where I have the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world, and run this blog where I share inspiration for YOUR travel photography. This website is specifically for those of us who love to wander with our cameras. We take it slow. We are curious. We love nature and the outdoors. Most of all, we love taking great photographs.

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