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?