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 Fukuro. Very nearly the same word, Fuku, means “luck”. Further, the Japanese word Fukurou 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 souvenir shops I saw owl charms and dolls of all colors, shapes and sizes. The most unique ones I came across though were handmade from a flea market in Kyoto. Aren’t they cute?