Swastika symbol removed from maps for foreigners

Comparison of nazi swastika to Japanese manji symbol for temples on maps

A traditional symbol that resembles a swastika which is used to indicate Buddhist temples on maps for foreign tourists in Japan will be replaced. The Japanese map symbol is called "manji" and originates from an ancient Sanskrit symbol that has been associated with Japanese Buddhism for centuries. The manji symbol looks very similar to the Nazi swastika symbol that was used by Adolf Hitler to represent the Nazis in Germany from 1920, through WWII and the early 1940s.

 

Swastika symbols used for temples on maps in Japan

 

Swastika icon indicates temple on local map in Japan Swastika symbols is similar to Japanese Manji ideogram denoting temples on pedestrian maps and other maps in Japan

 

Japanese Manji character resembles swastika symbol on maps in Japan

Map icon looks like swastika - indicates temples in Japan

 

In order to avoid confusion about the meaning of the map swastikas, the symbols will be replaced with a three-storied pagoda icon on maps for tourists. The manji icon on Japanese maps will not be changed.

New symbols for Japanese tourist maps replace swastika for olympics 2020

Results of an international study by Japan’s Geospatial Information Authority prompted the agency to revise some symbols on tourist maps in Japan.

news source: Examiner (pdf) photos: Iwate; Koenji; Yokohama; Miyagi

Japan Geospatial Information Authority (Japanese)  (English translation)

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