Monkey teachers


monkey teachers . . .
to observe, to listen
to recite haiku


The "real" Three Wise Monkeys at Nikko

CLICK for more about Nikko Toshogu Shrines

. The Hill Station of Nagi

Here I found these three quite different monkey teachers !

translation by Massa on facebook, March 2011


source : Massa


The three wise monkeys
(Japanese: 三猿, san'en or sanzaru, or 三匹の猿, sanbiki no saru, literally "three monkeys") are a pictorial maxim. 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 covering his abdomen or genital area, or 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 looking the other way, refusing to acknowledge it, or feigning ignorance.

The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan. The philosophy, however, probably originally came to Japan with a Tendai-Buddhist legend, from China in the 8th century (Nara Period).

In Chinese, a similar phrase exists in the Analects of Confucius: "Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety" (非禮勿視, 非禮勿聽,非禮勿言, 非禮勿動) It may be that this phrase was shortened and simplified after it was brought into Japan.

Though the teaching had nothing to do with monkeys, the concept of the three monkeys originated from a word play. The saying in Japanese is "mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru" (見ざる, 聞かざる, 言わざる, or with the suffix in kanji, 見猿, 聞か猿, 言わ猿), literally "don't see, don't hear, don't speak". Shizaru is likewise written し猿, "don't do".
In Japanese, zaru, which is an archaic negative verb conjugation, is the same as zaru, the vocalized suffix for saru meaning monkey (it is one reading of 猿, the kanji for monkey). Therefore, it is evident how the monkeys may have originated from what one would see as an amusing play on words.

Three Vajras, a formulation in Tibetan Buddhism referring to body, speech and mind
Manasa, vacha, karmana, three Sanskrit words referring to
mind, speech and actions
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

in Bhutan there are

Ku, Sung and Thuk (thugs in Turrel Wylie)


The stone monkeys I found in the temple compound teach quite a different lesson,
or maybe not ?

. Zen and Haiku

. Monkey, a topic for haiku  

- Monkey lessons in 2014 -

source : facebook


. Doraemon ドラえもん .


source : www.daruman-honpo.com

Daruma and the three monkeys

. Saru 猿 / 申  Monkey Amulets .

chirimen no saru ga sanbiki ume no hana

three monkeys
made from chirimen cloth -
plum blossoms

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .


saru dono no yosamu toiyuku usagi kana

stopping in on Mr. Monkey
in the cold of night
a rabbit!

Buson frequently wrote verses anthropomorphizing animals. . . . the speaker describes an encounter between a monkey and a rabbit in fairytale like terms. . . . this kind of humorous and self-deprecating verse is consistent with the aesthetic of fuuga 風雅 (poetic elegance) or fuukyoo 風狂 (poetic madness).
source and more : Cheryl A. Crowley

Enroute to the monkey king
on a cold night,
a visiting rabbit.

Tr. Sawa/ Shiffert

Who goes to visit
Sir Monkey this frozen night -
Only Mr. Hare?

Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa

The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

兎猿遊戯中巻 - Rabbit and Monkey playing
of the scroll 鳥獣人物戯画 about frolicking animals

- - - - -

mushi no ne ya yami o tachiyuku teoizaru

Chirring of insects--
Cutting through the darkness
Is the cry of a wounded monkey.

Tr. Nelson/Saito

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .


Why is the monkey a symbol of good luck? In Japanese, you can say
ma ga saru 魔が去る, the bad luck is going to leave.

SARU means also monkey, so the monkey might help to make your bad luck go away.

. Monkey Charms, Amulets and Talismans .


2016 - Year of the Monkey


. WKD : saru さる -  猿 Monkey, Affe, Affen   .




Unknown said...




Gabi said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sakuo san.
They were sitting in a temple ground next to the hill station.
Let us see, and hear and talk ...

isabelle said...

Such a nice one, Gabi! Glad you spotted it :-)

Gabi Greve said...

Yes, Isabelle san,
I had to look twice to see the difference !

facebook said...

comments on facebook, March 2011

Gabi Greve said...

Gachapon toys for Japan’s “first manga,”
Scrolls of Frolicking Animals, to be available next year
with more photos here

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