The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol & its Migrations
Dispersion of the Swastika
II. – Dispersion of the Swastika.
The Swastika was in use in Japan in ancient as well as modern times. Fig. 29 represents a bronze statue of Buddha, one fifteenth natural size. Form Japan, in the collection of M. Ceruschi, Paris. It has eight Swastikas on the pedestal, the ends all turned at right angles to the right. This specimen is shown by De Mortillet (1) because it relates to prehistoric man. The image or statue holds a cane in the form of a “tintinnabulum,” with movable rings arranged to make a jingling noise, and De Mortillet inserted it in his volume to show the likeness of this work in Japan to a number of similar objects found in the Swiss lake dwellings in the prehistoric age of bronze (p.806).
The Swastika mark was employed by the Japanese on their porcelain. Sir Augustus W. Franks (2) shows one of these marks, a small Swastika turned to the left and inclosed in a circle (fig. 30). Fig. 9 also represent a mark on Japanese bronzes. (3)
The U.S. national Museum
has a ladies’ sedan or carrying chair from Korea. It bears eight Swastika
marks, cut by stencil in the brass-bound corners, two on each corner,
one looking each way. The Swastika is normal, with arms crossing at right
angles, the ends bent at right angles and to the right. It is quite plain;
the lines are all straight, heavy, of equal thickness, and the angles
all at 90 degrees. In appearance it resembles the Swastika in fig. 9.
In the Chinese language the sign of the Swastika is pronounced wan (p. 801), and stands for “many,” “a great number,” “ten thousand,” “infinity,” and by a syneedoche is construed to mean “long
1. “Musce Prehistorique,”fig. 1230; Bull. Soc. d’Anthrop., Paris pp. 299,313,314. [Back]
2. “Catalogue of Oriental Porcelain and Pottery,” pl. 11.fig. 139. [Back]
3. De Morgan, “Au Cancase,” fig. 180. [Back]