Three wise monkeys

The three wise monkeys (Japanese: , san’en or sanzaru, or , sanbiki no saru, literally “three monkeys”), sometimes called the three mystic apes. Together they embody the proverbial principle to “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. Sometimes there is a fourth monkey depicted with the three others; the last one, Shizaru, symbolizes the principle of “do no evil”. He may be shown crossing his arms.

There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action. In the Western world the phrase is often used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by turning a blind eye


About keiko

Keiko Azuma is a food travel journalist, a nutritionist who loves to respect culture and food culture all over the world. Especially she wants to be an advocate to introduce Japanese Culture to the rest of the world. She is going to introduce current Japanese Culture and Foods and more. Please feel free to share your ideas where and what information you would like to know, hear, see and want to visit Japan.

31. October 2012 by keiko
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